Cinematic Dating Lies
I love films, don’t we all, but sometimes I feel like they present us with ideas about men, women and dating that aren’t strictly true. Please read on for some of these cinematic LIES.
“QUIRKY” GIRLS AREN’T ATTRACTIVE
I hate that it’s surprising when the guy picks the girl with glasses and an interest in photography. And it’s usually at the end of the film after the girl has had a makeover, or it’s a dare (‘She’s All That’), or the guy has seen beneath her sarcastic exterior (‘Ten Things I Hate About You’), or he’s been on a soul searching mission and has finally realised he wants more than a cheerleader. Sure a lot of guys are into bubbly pretty girls with pep and a great hair flick, and nothing against those ladies. We totally get it, you’re awesome. But in the real world a hell of a lot of guys love what Hollywood classes as “the quirky girl.” Basically think the female version of Duckie in ‘Pretty in Pink’. I remember when ‘Ghost World’ came out and all my male friends were talking about Thora Birch and how hot she was, as if they’d just discovered America. They were so excited to have a leading lady who was a bit different and didn’t conform to mainstream ideals. In other words, they were surprised to see the kind of girl they’d go for in real life on the silver screen. Then they saw ‘Daria’ and totally freaked out. It also annoys me that the alternative girl often gets relegated to best friend status – in ‘Mean Girls’ for example. They’re portrayed as weak and bitter, standing in the shadows, hoping the dashing and typically handsome leading beau will notice their unusual ways. As if. Girls like that would be at a skeezy dive in town hanging out with the cool kids and necking a guy with at least five tattoos. Now THAT’S a film I wanna see. Wake up Weinstein.
THE LONG TRIP/AIRPORT COMBO
I WISH that when I was broken-hearted I’d had the money and means to run away to another city, or even better an exotic beach, where I would start my new job as a glamorous fashion type person, or jet ski rental girl. I WISH I could just pack my bags and have a fresh start and wash that guy outta my hair using those teeny tiny hotel shampoo bottles. I WISH said guy would have realised his huge error and raced across the city with seconds to spare, pushing through security and grabbing my arm as I was ready to board the plane. But no. Instead, after a heinous break up I would be left lonely in my same old messy room, doing my same old 9 to 5, my broken heart encouraging me to eat nothing but pickled onions. But then I guess the whole point of break ups is that you can’t run away from them, they’re something you have to endure. Otherwise they’d be called break trips. And of course that guy isn’t going to pay loads of money on cabs to prevent you from flying away because A. There is such a thing as phones and email nowadays and B. What kind of creep stops a girl from going on holiday?! and C. HE DUMPED YOU. Playing the “I’m leaving the country” card will just re-inforce the crazy-girl-who’s-super-dramatic vibe that made him end it in the first place.
HEARTACHE HAS A KICK ASS SOUNDTRACK
In films, lovelorn moments always have the perfect playlist. Elliot Smith harmonising with the snotty wails of despair. But sadly music supervisors don’t cater to real life break ups, so instead you would find yourself listening to Crap FM, golden oldies for the over fifties and seeking solace in the lyrics of Michael Bolton. One of the worst things about a break up is that suddenly every single song on the radio seems to be directly written about your present experiences. All those schmaltzy numbers you mocked your parents for liking are suddenly, and most definitely, based on your life. Your discerning and hip music taste walks out the door with your ex and you have to keep pulling the car over because your running mascara blinds you after hearing ‘Nothing Compares To You’* for the 15th time.
*nothing against this song, it’s actually one of my favourites.
YOU’RE GONNA END UP WITH YOUR MALE BFF
I love my guy pals. I’ve known them since my teens and I don’t know where I’d be without them. They’re all amazing people and any girl would be lucky to have them. But there is a reason we’re in the friend zone. When a (hetero) boy and girl meet and there is the inevitable, “Hmm could this person be my next love?” moment. If that moment passes and nothing happens, for whatever reason, then you’re on the well-trod path into pal city, where you punch each other’s arms and swap relationship advice over pizza. One of you may still harbour eyebrow wiggling feelings for the other, but it’s very rare that those desires come to fruition. You know each other too well – you know how much they loved that girl who was cheating on them constantly, they know that sometimes you get drunk and cry while singing ‘Nothing Compares To You’ at a picture of your ex. Now, as I said, the union of two best buds in the boudoir does occasionally happen, and if it’s a one off and your friendship is strong enough, that’s awesome. And sometimes it does carry on and you build an incredible relationship with a guy you already know and love. But in Hollywood they ply us with the, “Oh wow I didn’t realise you were so handsome!” fallacy over and over again, perpetuating the idea that you wouldn’t have always known your guy friend was totally awesome and hot. And said fallacy usually comes straight after the girl has been duped or ditched by the slippery object of her affection, when she’s wounded and vulnerable. ”Oops look I fell into my BFF’s bed and yay it’s actually what I wanted all along!” That outcome is just unfair on all the male buddies out there, they deserve their own leading man role.