Happily Ever After
MOST films based on a love story have the exact layout: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall madly in love, boy and girl have major fall-out, boy and girl make up, boy and girl live happily ever after cue some happy indie song. I can instantly predict how a chick flick or romantic love story will play out from the moment it begins.
We all love the happy endings of course, and let’s face it we still have hope that our very own Noah is going to step in and sweep us right off our feet. But is there something about that hope which is a little unhealthy?
Movies have long provided us with high expectations of what we want and will get from a relationship. Take The Holiday for example. Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet switch continents for a couple of weeks as a result of being victims of unrequited love. Although they rarely leave their houses during the holiday, they still manage to run into potential love interests. If you haven’t seen the film, you can probably guess what happens next (sorry if I spoiled the plot for you!). In reality, the chances of a Jude Law look-a-like walking into the house I was staying in on holiday and falling deeply in love with me, well, aren’t very high.
Likewise, with The Notebook. Although set in the 50s or sometime around that era when ‘times were different’, has anybody actually ever been chased by a guy who decided to climb a ferris wheel to reach you just so he could ask you out? And a guy with similar features to Ryan Gosling at that. Siiiiiiigh – Ryan Gosling – mmm. Apologies, you’ll have to forgive me for drooling.
AND how many guys have written 365 letters to you after you moved away? Or sent you 365 Facebook messages? Okay, maybe that would be slightly creepy, on the verge of stalkerish. But what are the chances you will end up staying in contact with your first love and getting married after years of being apart? It may happen, but not often. I know The Notebook doesn’t exactly have a joyful ending, but it’s these grand gestures of love which are giving us these false expectations.
Titanic doesn’t end well nor does A Walk to Remember, but the love stories are beautiful. You can really see how much these male characters care for the women and treat them with the utmost respect. Lying under the stars, sharing ice-cream, jumping into lakes, having romantic picnics are all common dates in love stories but these days a guy can be scared to show his affection for his other half and do special things for her. If I were to write a modern day love story, it would involve a lot of cheating, too much drinking and a few of the aul ‘friends with benefits’ relationships.
Heck, even the film Friends with Benefits has a happy-ever-after ending! How many real-life friends with benefits relationships have worked out?
I’m not saying there is no romance in the world. Of course there are couples out there who are meant to be and are lovely to each other, but there are many failed relationships too. From a young age, we have watched Cinderella get her Prince Charming, Danny try his hardest to get Sandy and Baby jump into the hands of Johnny, but in real-life this isn’t always the way.
Although expecting movie-life perfection isn’t always good, movies can still be somewhat reasonable examples of how things can and should be. We should never live our lives expecting it to be a remake of Dirty Dancing or expecting Ryan Gosling to appear while you’re riding the ferris wheel, but we do all deserve to be treated right and if you live with the right kind of expectations and standards, the movie moments will come naturally.
Photo c/o guestofaguest.com