HAPPY SAINT VALENTINES DAY EVERYONE!
As activists and those who don’t have dates say… Happy Manufactured Holiday that has nothing to do with anything (which isn’t true), except selling candy and flowers!!!
Anyway, I wanted to comment on love stories, particularly in the visual medium. Now before I get started, I’m not talking about ALL romantic movies. Ones like say… The Proposal and Just Like Heaven are funny as Hell. Heck even the end credits of the Proposal is hilarious:
“What is her favorite color?”
“Her favorite color is blue.”
“What is her favorite color when she’s not at home.”
“… I don’t know!”
That makes me laugh every time. If you haven’t seen this movie, don’t be fooled by the whole ‘Chick Flick’ concept. It is a very funny movie.
I’m talking about the phoned in ones that all seem to have the same plot line… and God damn there are a lot of them!
So what is this basic plot?
Character 1 (Guy or Girl) is engaged and seemingly happy in their life.
Character 1 meets character 2 who is usually either very unorthodox or someone character 1 knew from their youth.
Character 1 spends time with character 2… arguably a lot more time than they spend with their own fiance’ in the movie.
The fiance has something going on either illegal, amoral, or unethical.
Character 1 discovers this and leave their fiance, ending up with character 2.
We’ve seen this done over and over and over again:
When Harry Met Sally
Made of Honor
Someone Like You
Some Kind of Wonderful
The Wedding Singer
Can’t Hardly Wait
The Wedding Planner
Just to name a few…
I know that there are other plot cliches out there that romantic movies tend to fall into, but in my opinion, this is the most glaring. Not only that, but it’s also the most unrealistic and MOST AWFUL!
For starters, this is one of those plots that would be an absolute nightmare if it ever happened in real life. Often times the climax of the movie occurs days if not weeks before the wedding. Which means all the money that was put into the Wedding, all the money spent by people coming to the Wedding, and all the effort put in has been thoroughly WASTED!
Another problem with this kind of plot line is when the writers clearly have no idea what they’re doing. You’ll see it every now and again… throughout the entire movie the fiance or significant other is a totally awesome person. They’re perfect in every way for the main character in every way until right near the end, apparently the writers forgot that this person was supposed to be the antagonist, so they instantaneously bring up a plot point that is way out of character and completely out of left field that no one was expecting in order to make the lead less of a horrible person for turning away from them.
Disney’s Frozen in a lesser way is actually guilty of this.
Not only that, but the movies almost NEVER deal with the ramifications of the main character’s actions. What about the embarrassment and/or feelings of the person who is being spurned. Are we just not supposed to care about them because of a forced plot point?
Or worse… the character is actually OKAY WITH STEPPING ASIDE! As if this would ever happen.
Personally, I usually find myself cheering for that person. It may be bitter, but I’ve always envisioned the lead character who turned around and left their original significant other getting screwed over and/or cheated on by the person they chose to be with… Because if that person is okay with sneaking around with a person who’s already spoken for… what other unethical/amoral things are they capable of?
Jim… remember what you said about Fantasy?
Yes I know. That doesn’t mean that I have to enjoy every single story cliche and it certainly doesn’t mean that I can call out whenever someone does it over and over. On top of that, I said that I was a realist and try my best to make my stories believable in some way. These are not.
Now again, not all romance movies are like this. Heck, not even all BAD romance movies are like this…
Yeah I’m not even getting into these, especially not the first one. The lack of creativity on the poster should say it all.
If you REALLY want me to rant about one of these… see my review of The Vow, a movie that to this DAY remains on my top 5 worst movies of all times list for its absolutely deplorable plot. I personally can’t be bothered to get into it again.
Anyway, can anyone name off other movies like that or other movie tropes that they can stand? Let me know.
Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.
I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.
Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:
Catch you on the flip side!