Caught in a fanciful world

Caught in a fanciful world

romantic Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

In fact, 40 top box office Hollywood hits between 1995 and 2005 were studied and common themes were identified which were believed to be responsible for unfulfilled expectations in romantic relationships.

Apparently, fans of romantic films like Runaway Bride and Notting Hill failed to communicate properly with their partners. They believed (because of an overdose of rom-coms) that if someone is meant to be with you, then they should know what you think without you telling them.

“Most of us do know that a perfect relationship is unrealistic, yet we are strongly influenced by film portrayals. Many young people suffer from ‘the Disney Delusion’, where everyone is supposed to fall in love magically and live happily ever after. Life doesn’t work that way and you are setting yourself up for the big let down,” says marriage counsellor Suma Nagesh.

So what do people in the City believe? “Hey everyone loves a good old fashioned romantic film and the idea of being in love. rom-coms showcase a world that is beautiful and extravagant if only for a few hours till real life intrudes with its practicalities and problems,” says Deepa Subramaniam.

“Yes, I do agree that overly heightened expectations based on a romantic comedy might actually ruin a perfectly planned weekend with Mr Right if things don’t go as planned. Nevertheless, life is all about dreams and hopes and while rom-coms maybe impractical and fanciful, they are here to stay and should be enjoyed with that special someone!”
Dev and Larina are still in the honeymoon phase of newly-weds but feel that rom-coms should be kept in perspective. “People go to theatres and cheer Superman saving the planet. Movies are meant to be fantasy-based entertainment and rom-coms are no different .While fairytales romances do happen in real life, they are more the exception than the norm,” they laugh.

“Most rom-coms have the boy or girl dashing to the airport through bad traffic to stop their loved one from flying off...and they always get there in time! In real life, they'd probably get hit by a bus! Romantic movies aren’t bad for you but accepting their unrealistic expectations of love as reality is,” they emphasise.

Shawn Woolf, also recently married, enjoys romantic comedies but says, “I suspend my disbelief and allow myself to be purely entertained when watching movies especially rom-coms. I enjoy them but rarely learn any lessons from them or use them to reflect on my own relationships. However, even highbrow or arty film buff are also suckers for  the schmaltzy ending, I’ve noticed! And face it — any partner willing to shed a tear in front of their better-half will often score points whether they intended to or not.”

“Common sense should prevail and people should recognise fiction when they see it. A deeper social experiment may even show a link between a rise in romantic blockbusters and an increase in the divorce rate,” says Suma in conclusion.

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