I’m certain that there is nothing novel to the notion that romantic comedies are completely unrealistic, but after conversing with an uber-manly friend of mine and watching Something Borrowed in the same day, I realize what a complete set-up watching these films can be. I discovered what a complete set-up listening to my uber-manly friend can be, too. Here are a few of the contrasts I found between the two experiences.
- How men pursue: According to my friend (and I have heard this before), when a man wants something, he pursues it. So, if a man isn’t chasing, more than likely he doesn’t want it. According the film, men can go years without ever addressing or pursuing their love. So, women should assume that even if he isn’t saying so or showing it, he could actually love you.
My issue with this-If I were to believe the film, I could spend my life trying to read between the lines without ever paying attention to what a guy is really saying (or not saying). Living like this would clearly be emotionally draining and overall disappointing. If I listen to my friend, then I should assume that every man knows exactly how to express himself and that every man is super simple to get.
- How men handle emotions: Also according to my friend, I and other women approach getting to know someone with far too many emotions. Men don’t feel when dating; they just observe. According to the film, men are as emotionally unbalanced as women are, and one can expect to see any range of emotion at any time from men.
My issue with this- By no means do I think that men are raging lunatics like we are, but I refuse to believe that there is not one ounce of emotion involved when a man is getting to know a woman. Men might get over things sooner, but there are emotions tied to wanting to get to know someone more or wanting to be around someone.
- How men choose: And lastly, according to my friend, men make a choice about a woman based on how well she matches his needs and preferences. According to the film, men make choices completely contrary to their needs or preferences out of convenience.
My issue with this- If I consider my friend’s point of view to be at all accurate, then I should assume that men know exactly what they want, apparently far better than women do. I am not so naive to take this point of view. However, the latter would make me feel hopeless. Consider: if a man does settle for you, it’s because you were his convenient mistake. I am not so cynical as to adhere to this point of view either.
So, let’s assume that these films were not created to imitate life, nor were they created to provide any pattern for realistic relationships. And let’s assume that although our male friends know a whole lot more about being a man than we do, they don’t know all there is to know about being human. But I marvel at how prone we are to make relationships like science.