Hollywood has a disturbing way of making inappropriate and/or creepy scenarios seem romantic and sweet. Maybe it’s the perfectly worded scripts, where characters say all the right things at all the right moments; maybe it’s the beautiful actors and actresses who are blinding us with their gorgeous features; maybe it’s the sappy music that we can’t help but feel enchanted by. It’s probably a combination of all of those things, along with the fact that writers and directors are master manipulators who know what tugs at our heartstrings. But really, really imagine yourself being in one of these “romantic” cliches in real life – most of them are actually totally inappropriate.
Here’s an example I point to a lot: The Notebook. Now, I fully admit to loving this movie and crying like a baby every time I watch it. That said, I too can admit that Noah is creepy AF. Dude straight up obsessed over a girl for years, going so far as to build her perfect house. Think about yourself as Allie. Imagine the guy you loved for one summer ghosted you (or at least you thought he ghosted you), so you moved on, and then found out years later that he was still obsessed with you. Now, imagine that this guy ISN’T the human perfection that is Ryan Gosling, and is instead a scruffy, dirty version of the cute teenager you once made out with in the street. With a girlfriend. Who he treats like crap. Would you still be that charmed?
The Notebook is only one movie in a long list of romantic comedies that features “romantic” scenes that are not so loving in real life. Of course, there is nothing wrong with watching stuff like this – it’s fiction, and if you can separate truth from reality, you’re fine – but it’s worth noting that these things are creepy. Some people will actually do them thinking they’re sweet! And they’re not. So let’s clear it up right now: here are some “romantic” movie cliches that are inappropriate IRL, all taken, of course, from an Ask Reddit thread.
The Tortured Dude Who Just Wants Someone To LoveHollywood has an obsession with the tortured male character who just needs his crush to fall in love with him. He's similar to The Nice Guy, but he's more sad and pathetic, making it almost easier to feel sorry for him when his object of affection doesn't return his feelings. User todayonbloopers explains: "the tortured, soulful, misunderstood man who deserves a woman's love to make up for his suffering. It doesn't matter what she wants, it's his by right or else the story has a tragic end. Only made worse by how many dudes pull this act and think it makes them irresistible." Just because a guy is sad and has gone through crappy things doesn't mean the girl he loves should be expected to be with him. And yet, in these types of scenes, we always end up feeling sorry for him and angry at her if she doesn't return his feelings. In real life, if a guy were miserable and in love with you, and you didn't like him back, you would want him to back off!
The Couples Who Doesn't Get Along At AllWe've seen this a million different times on TV shows and movies: the couple who doesn't get along at all, yet is "meant to be together." Use AJBox explains, "When a man & woman in a movie/book/other media has nothing in common, don't get along, barely seem to even like each other and yet the movie keeps trying to tell us they are passionately in love." As an older example, think of Ray and Deborah on Everybody Loves Raymond. The two fight constantly, disagree on everything, and make fun of each other all the time, yet at the end of the day, we're supposed to be sure they're a cute couple. In real life, no one would think that way.
The Guy Who Won't Take No For An AnswerThis is basically a story line that rom-coms rely on: the guy character who is in love and won't respect the word "no." User Diellen says, "When the guy never gives up no matter how many 'nos' he gets (and the woman says yes in the end anyway...). Made worse by the fact some guys seem to really take this to heart and think it's representative of real life... then wonder why women are creeped out lol." In real life, you would NOT be happy about someone you weren't interested in begging for a chance over and over again.
When The Guy Ends An Argument With A KissUser BillNyesHat said: "We're fighting and I'm losing so I'll just kiss her passionately to shut her up show her I still love her no matter what."Think about this iconic scene from The Notebook: Allie and Noah are screaming at each other, and then Noah grabs her and kisses her and everything isn't just good, it's AMAZING. Like, more than half the people watching died inside at this very moment because they were so charmed by this kiss. INCLUDING ME. But in real life? Not so cute. If I'm screaming at you, you BETTER not grab me and start kissing me because I promise you it will only make things worse. Respect someone enough to let them finish!
When Someone Cheats On Their Partner For Their True LoveThis is another favorite cliche. User destria explains, "When the main character's romantic pursuit is already in a long-term stable relationship. Or if one of the characters cheats to be with their 'true love'. But really the whole pursuit of someone in a relationship, actively sabotaging someone's relationship and/or the person in a relationship apparently throwing everything away on a whim...all of that is creepy. But in romcom world it's okay because they're meant to be." In real life, this is just called cheating, and it's not cute or romantic - it sucks. And those scenes are actually affecting people. Look at this article from Cosmopolitan: the woman writing it sleeps with guys in relationships because she's looking for this "happy" ending. Ugh! Cheating is not romantic!
Couples Who Fall In Love ImmediatelyI know that time doesn't exist on TV shows and movies for legitimate reasons, but it's still so annoying to see couples fall head over heels immediately. User Sumthing_Vague explains, "The fact that they never know each other very long and then are madly, deeply in love. Also that no matter what they break up for something awful that they had done, and fight to get back together, and then they do. Personally if I had dated someone only for a few months and they did half the stuff people do in romcoms to cause the breakup I would accept it as a loss and move on." In real life, if someone felt that strong that quickly, you'd probably feel pretty freaked out. I know I would!
The Guy Who Grabs The Girl's ArmThis is a slightly more casual occurrence that you might not even think about - as a girl is walking away from a guy, he grabs his arm to stop her because he's not ready for her to leave. User KaleAndChickenSalad explains: "Men grabbing the woman's arms and forcibly preventing her from leaving when she tries to walk away. Happened no less than THREE separate times in the last romance novel I read, and every time, somehow, the heroine finds it sexy because 'OMG HE'S TOUCHING MEEEE!!!' No! No. That is assault. I read that and couldn't believe she didn't immediately spin around and pepper spray him." Yup. IRL, you would probably freak out if a dude grabbed you like that.
When Someone Is In Love With Their Friend's PartnerUser maryjanesandbobbysox says, "She's married to my friend, but I will tell her my true feelings for her anyway!!"By now, we have all picked apart this scene in Love Actually where this guy admits he's in love with his best friend's wife. It's not cute! It's totally messed up!
Women Hitting MenUser aenea said, Women slapping or hitting men because they're angry or 'over-emotional'. Turn that around and everyone would scream abuse." Yup! A woman slapping a man isn't funny or empowering - it's abuse. And it's not okay for Hollywood to make us think otherwise.
Watching Each Other SleepUser refswag11 said, "Watching people sleep." Sure, it's cute to watch a hot dude stare lovingly at his sleeping girlfriend, but in real life? If I woke up to my BF staring at me, I would scream.
Which one of these romantic cliches is your favorite? What else happens in movies that would be creepy in real life? Share in the comments.