Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Romantic comedies will ruin your life

No shit. Although it doesn't look like they included really good "rom-coms" like Bringing Up Baby, so their results may be suspect.

Rom-coms 'spoil your love life'
BBC News
10:02 GMT, Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Watching romantic comedies can spoil your love life, a study by a university in Edinburgh has claimed.

Rom-coms have been blamed by relationship experts at Heriot Watt University for promoting unrealistic expectations when it comes to love.

They found fans of films such as Runaway Bride and Notting Hill often fail to communicate with their partner.

Many held the view if someone is meant to be with you, then they should know what you want without you telling them.

Psychologists at the family and personal relationships laboratory at the university studied 40 top box office hits between 1995 and 2005, and identified common themes which they believed were unrealistic.

"The problem is that while most of us know that the idea of a perfect relationship is unrealistic, some of us are still more influenced by media portrayals than we realise"
Dr Bjarne Holmes
Heriot Watt University

The movies included You've Got Mail, Maid In Manhattan, The Wedding Planner and While You Were Sleeping.

The university's Dr Bjarne Holmes said: "Marriage counsellors often see couples who believe that sex should always be perfect, and if someone is meant to be with you then they will know what you want without you needing to communicate it.

"We now have some emerging evidence that suggests popular media play a role in perpetuating these ideas in people's minds.

"The problem is that while most of us know that the idea of a perfect relationship is unrealistic, some of us are still more influenced by media portrayals than we realise."

As part of the project, 100 student volunteers were asked to watch the 2001 romantic comedy Serendipity, while a further 100 watched a David Lynch drama.

Predestined love

Students watching the romantic film were later found to be more likely to believe in fate and destiny. A further study found that fans of romantic comedies had a stronger belief in predestined love.

Kimberly Johnson, who also worked on the study, said: "Films do capture the excitement of new relationships but they also wrongly suggest that trust and committed love exist from the moment people meet, whereas these are qualities that normally take years to develop."

The researchers have now launched an online study on media and relationships.


Anonymous said...

Romantic comedies are fantasies but fantasies that we need. For two hours or so and maybe for a few minutes afterwards, the best ones truly make you believe in something like everlasting love.

It's when fantasies are confused with reality that the trouble begins. Malcolm X once said that nothing has destroyed so many marriages as the movies.

Scott said...

Good to see another fan of Malcolm X on this site. Although I have to admit I am completely unfamiliar with the quote.

Anonymous said...

You must have read his autobiography. It was in there.

He even refused to kiss his wife at their civil wedding because he was so allergic to big public displays of "romantic love".