Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Are Romantic Comedies Dangerous to Our Emotional Life?

According to a new study, this woman might be one of the most dangerous people in the world:

Researchers have found that people who are fans of romantic-comedies, such as Sleepless in Seattle, tend to hold attitudes about relationships that likely to lead to disfunctionality because they are so unrealistic. For instance, "rom-com" fans are more likely to believe that 'sex should always be perfect', and that people should hold out for 'soul mates' who will understand their needs without ever having to ask or be told about them.

This genre of films is also commonly referred to as "chick-flicks", suggesting that they appeal to young women in particular. There is a quite a bit of feminist research on how certain kinds of media, such as Disney films, present damaging ideals of femininity to young girls. Are romantic comedies similarly damaging by perpetuating warped notions of relationship and emotional expression?

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At 12:05 PM , Blogger Saren J. said...

Very interesting!
I stopped watching "chick flicks" when i realized the nauseating feeling of facing the reality of my relationships after walking out of the theatre.

I believe that so long as we can maintain our sense of reality (which is difficult when we immerse ourselves in such media, which cater to our ever important senses and emotions), we can say that they do not cause damage. But why even tempt that risk?

At 2:24 AM , Blogger Joseph Orosco said...

Thanks for you comment Saren. I think many people wish our relationships could work without having to deal with the ups and downs and disappointments that come from having to live with other people.

Ultimately, I think the romantic ideal that comes across in these films is vaguely narcissistic "I just wish there was someone for me that would just get me without me having to tell them what I want".

At 11:47 AM , Blogger Michael Faris said...

Joseph, I agree that these films are in many ways narcissistic, and ultimately harmful. Similarly to Saren, I walk out of these films feeling depressed: why am I alone? what's wrong with me?

The films ultimately reinforce an unreal and highly romantic notion of love and relationships that can't be lived up to in "real life."


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