Monday, June 16, 2014

Rom-Coms Rule the World

If you think about it. They really do. Women grow up with them. We watch them countless times. We quote them and force our significant others to watch them. In doing so we hope to give them not so subtle hints and tips about romance. Most romantic comedies are unrealistic and lead us all to disappointment and heartbreak. (How often do our Mr. Darcy-types turn out to actually be anything like Mr. Darcy? Be honest.)

But there are a select few romantic comedies that are not completely unrealistic and include what we all strive to have most: a love that survives the little moments as well as the big ones, a love that does not walk away after every disagreement and a love that stays with us when things aren't easy. It's not perfect. It's not a fairy tale. It's hard work, but no matter how hard it is it's constant and comforting and completely worth it.

Most of those select few I'm referring to were written by the late Nora Ephron.

You've Got Mail, Julie & Julia, When Harry Met Sally, and Sleepless in Seattle. Sleepless in Seattle may be the least realistic of the mentioned films but it still has it's realistic moments regarding loss and friendship and the relationships that almost work out so I'm including it.

I'm actually watching Julie & Julia right now. Every time I watch this movie I appreciate it more and more. Both romances are so beautiful and prove what I was saying about things being difficult and relationships requiring work. It doesn't come easily and we shouldn't expect it to. Expecting things to be light and breezy is what shortens marriages and increases the percentages of divorce. I'm not saying there is never any cause for divorce because of course there is. Sometimes people change for the worse or neglect to learn from their mistakes or are just too self centered to see life beyond the end of their own nose. Sometimes there are more drastic situations that require it for personal safety, but in most cases I feel people tend to give up much too easily.

My parents have been married for twenty-seven years and they argue at least once a day every day. They say spiteful things and slam doors but in the end they work through it and it's like it never happened. If they'd separated every time they had a knock down drag out fight they never would have made it past five years.

So, in a way, Rom-Coms rule the world. They influence our ideas of love and marriage and how our life should be. If you don't believe me just ask Mindy Kaling. She knows this better than anyone since her hit Fox comedy is based on Dr. Mindy Lahiri's obsession with the genre and regularly makes references various romantic comedies.

We all have expectations and as much as I love romantic comedies maybe next time we watch one we should consider it with a grain of salt. No one can completely live up to the Sam Baldwins or Fitzwilliam Darcys of the world, and most importantly you can't force other men to be like them. You can't fit a square peg in a round hole and it's best you don't try.

If there's one major lesson I learned from the beautiful Nora Ephron it's that the best romances should always begin by accepting each other for who you really are and who you aspire to be.