Real-Life Romance Is Not Like The Movies
Movies lie about love. Films are fiction, pure and simple. Not every guy gets the girl. Running through the airport security to declare your undying love to your soulmate will only get you arrested. That said, RomComs can certainly teach us a thing or two about dating. By Alex Moss
1. Stop Looking For ‘The One’
There are 6.5 billion people on this planet and the thought that there is just one person out there who is perfect for you is preposterous. The only “One” is Keanu Reeves’ Neo from The Matrix (1999). In (500) Days Of Summer (2009), Tom (Gordon Levitt) falls in love with Summer (Zooey Deschanel) but things do not go quite according to the romantic dream he has in mind. His high ideals eventually get him dumped. Was it all worth it? Not by the looks of it. Throw away any ‘Looney Tunes’ ideas of what you think you want and take a look at the people right in front of you.
2. Play The Field
Sounds fun, right? And it should be, that is the whole point of dating. Go out there; kiss a few frogs, hell, kiss loads of frogs. Jacob (Ryan Gosling) in Crazy Stupid Love (2011) is a fine example to illustrate the point. He is the ultimate player with a different girl in his bed every night. He is having a lot of fun, who wouldn’t? When he meets Hannah (Emma Stone) who almost miraculously stimulates him both mentally and physically, he wants to be a one-woman guy. The moral of the story is, sometimes you have to sift through the chaff to find the wheat. Or should that be “to find The We”?
3.Friends Often Make The Best Partners
What is the most important thing to find in a partner? Is it passion, love, good looks or even wealth? No, it is none of those things. It is friendship. Take When Harry Met Sally (1989) in which Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) who have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship. Whilst in Friends With Benefits (2011) Dylan (Justin Timberlake) and Jamie (Mila Kunis) soon discover that sex leads to complications. Needless to say, both movies have a happy ending. Films like these show us that when two people are friends they tend to make really good lovers. It does not matter if, at first, they do not make your head spin or your heart skip a beat, that stuff is for Valentine’s Day cards and poets. If you like them, and they can make you laugh, you never know what the smallest of sparks could lead to.
4. First Dates Are Interviews
So says the lead character played by Ryan Reynolds in Van Wilder (2002). Stop sweating it, it is not that bad. The whole point of a first date is to put your best foot forward, to show the other person who you really are. It is also a chance for you to learn about him or her and to decide whether or not you like them. You need to dress to impress, and then remember everything that you have ever been told about interview techniques. Try not to fluff your lines and certainly no lying on your CV. Feel free to fake a reference though, that is just good sense.
5. Love Is Often Where You Least Expect It
The common thread of classic RomComs is that love is often hiding in the last place you would ever think to look for it. While Jim (Jason Biggs) in American Pie (1999) was chasing after hot European chicks, and his mother’s baked goods, he failed to notice Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), the redheaded hottie standing right next to him all along. Love is like an Easter Egg hunt, you never really stop to look in the most obvious places because you just do not think those chocolaty goods are going to be hidden there. Take off the blinkers and explore all options.
6. Be Yourself
Sounds clichéd right? But it works. In Disney’s Aladdin, The Genie (voiced by the late Robin Williams) becomes a bumblebee to tell Aladdin to “Beee yourself”. By being honest about whom you are, you can bet your life that you will speed right past unsuitable potential dates. Look at all the characters in Closer (2004) in which not one of them are honest to their prospective partners about who they really are; a bunch of good for nothing liars the lot of them. And how does it all end up? Whether or not you have seen the film, you probably already know the answer to that.
7. Love Is a Rollercoaster
Love is a wild ride. There are highs and lows and, if you are unlucky, maybe a bit of vomiting. Do not be quick to judge if, one day, your date is off-peak. We all have bad days however; there is still something to be gained. When someone is all moody and broody you get to learn a little bit about him or her. Like whether or not they can handle stress with a little grace. Let us be honest, you are not exactly a picnic, are you? We all have good and bad sides but they are what make us who we are. Trying to change someone or yourself, for someone else, is only likely to kick off a whole Jekyll and Hyde thing.
8. Perfection Does Not Exist
Hurts to hear but it is the truth. You are not perfect so do not expect someone else to be either. Never a truer word was said than by Mancunian rockers Oasis who once sang, “true perfection has to be imperfect”. It may sound stupid on the surface but when you think about it, it makes a whole lot of sense. If in doubt, remember the closing line of Some Like It Hot (1959). When Jack Lemmon’s character, dressed in drag, reveals that he is really a man to his besotted suitor Joe E. Brown, the latter wistfully looks into the distance and concludes, “Well, nobody’s perfect”. Amen.
9. Kiss Me Quick
How many times have you been told to take a new relationship slow and see how things go? Hogwash, what do the experts know anyway? A kiss is a key litmus test to see if there is genuine chemistry between you and your date. Forget the whole waiting game, as Woody Allen points out in Annie Hall (1977) the first kiss is inevitable so why wait? Of course if your date has not seen the film, which is a crime in itself, then you can use Woody’s line of “kissing helps digestion”. So ask them out on a dinner date and let the romancing begin. But do avoid anything too garlicky; you do not want that first kiss to be the last.
10. Fight For Love
The standard final act of any tears worthy RomCom is the inevitable run to the airport/ train station/ church aisle etc. This is the moment when it finally dawns on the hapless lead that his long-suffering soulmate is only moments away from being out of their life forever. The one thing that movies teach us more than anything else is that there are usually obstacles to overcome when it comes to love. There were actual monsters in Monsters (2010), a death in Ghost (1990) and even imaginary friends in Fight Club (1999). The point is you have to overcome those pesky roadblocks and fight for what you want. In other words suck it up, put those insecurities to one side and be the hero of your own movie. What is the worst that can happen?[box_light] Written by Alex Moss is also Editor of FilmJuice, an online publication, providing the latest film reviews, upcoming releases – plus news, interviews, features, competitions and shopping guides. Visit FilmJuice.com [/box_light]