Expectations vs. Reality: RomCom Cliches

If you expected this final post of RomCom Week to include a huge grand declaration of love for you, I’m here to burst your bubble because it’s not going to happen. JUST KIDDING, WE APPRECIATE ALL OF YOU READERS AND OUR LOVE IS AS PERFECT AS THE END OF ALL ROMCOMS.

But for serious, these movies tend to make our expectations high regarding our real life relationships, and most of the time, we just don’t get that perfect movie ending. So we’re here to lay some truth nuggets on you about some of the most used RomCom cliches used over the years. It ain’t gonna be pretty.

Expectation: You move to a new city and you immediately get along with your neighbors and everyone you encounter.

Reality: You have no friends except your mailman and the barista at the Starbucks down the street who gives you free Venti upgrades because he feels sorry for you.

Expectation: You have a great job in your mid-20s and you actually love it. You’ll be a high-power lawyer or own your own bookstore/bakery or architect or gallery curator at the Guggenheim.

Reality: Working a job you’re just fine with and still paying that little bitch Sallie Mae all of your student loans.

Expectation: Makeovers bring all the boys and girls to the yard.

Reality: No one does a better you than yourself.

Expectation: You can fall down all the time – while carrying things, down stairs, up stairs – but miraculously get up a bit humiliated, but otherwise okay.

Reality: If you fall down in front of your crush, worst-case scenario they’re going to watch you hobble off to Urgent Care to get your ankle X-rayed, best case scenario you’re getting up with a run in your stockings, a broken shoe, and stains from the coffee you were carrying. Which means you’re also going to smell like old coffee for the rest of the day.

Expectation:  You will have one less-attractive best friend whose whole purpose in life is to listen to your romantic problems then give you advice.

Reality: Your friends have their own lives. Or give bad advice. Or are prettier than you. Sorry.

Expectation: There will always be a Token (minority/gay best friend, etc.) to make snarky comments and witty side banter while you tell tales of your romantic plight.

 

Reality: Okay, so this may be true, but I’m just bringing this up because maybe it’s time the Token becomes the protagonist more often? Just saying.

Expectation: Once you meet a guy you’re into, you run into him all of the time at parties, grocery shopping, book stores, the park…

Reality: Option 1: That doesn’t really happen, so you actually have to decide to see each other on purpose, which is a lot trickier. Option 2: You DO run into each other all the time, and you can’t decide whether you’re more worried that you look like a stalker, or he is a stalker.

Expectation: When you can’t stand someone, it’s probably because you secretly love him.

Reality: When you can’t stand someone, it’s probably because you can’t stand him.

Expectation: You’ve been secretly (or maybe not-so-secretly) in love with your best guy/girl friend for years and when you finally get the guts to confess your feelings, they reciprocate with their own confession of love.

Reality: Sometimes friends are just friends. Sorry, boo boo. He’s just not that into you.

Expectation: Your relationship will kick off with a grand declaration of love.

Reality: You’ll kind of start hanging out more and more, and then after a month or two you have that “so, what ARE we anyway?” conversation.

Expectation: Your quirks are adorable. Every weird thing you do becomes another item on your love interest’s Meet Virginia-esque, Drops Of Jupiter-y list of things he thinks are precious about you.

Reality: Weird people are weird. Nobody thinks it’s cute that you’re so cold that you sleep in sweatshirts, or that you hate the sound of other people chewing, or that you make up your own lyrics to pop songs in the car. At best, they tolerate it.

Expectation: Once you find love, all your problems will be gone and you’ll live happily ever after.

yes, this is from grey’s anatomy. it counts because she spits the truth.

Reality: False. Ultimately, only you can make yourself happy. If you’re happy as a person and happy as a half of a couple, right on. But just being in love isn’t always enough.

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I’m Just A Girl, Standing In Front Of A Boy…

It’s day one of RomCom Week! We’re kicking things off with one of the most frequent tropes in the RomCom world – the confession of love. Even if you’re not a RomCom fan, you know this scene. It’s the one that you see coming towards the end of the movie, but when the main character does it, it might be in a way you don’t expect, and all of a sudden you’re tearing up and questioning your sanity (No? Just me?). There have been plenty of confessions of love throughout the history of romantic comedies, but here are just a few of our favorites from over the years (in no particular order).

Notting Hill

Notting Hill is one of my top three romantic comedies of all time. Maybe even one of my favorite films, ever. I was obsessed with it in high school, and basically wore out my VHS tape from rewinding it over and over again. This particular scene is one of the iconic scenes in all of movie history, where Hollywood superstar Anna (Julia Roberts) tries to convince British bookshop owner Will that despite the fact she’s a celebrity, she’s “also just a girl, standing in front of a boy… etc. etc. etc.” There’s a second confession of love in the film that often times gets looked over, but at the end, Will realizes he’s been dumb and chases Anna to a press conference and admits he’s been “a daft prick” in front of all the cameras. He proves that the whole ‘celebrity’ thing is out of his mind now, and he’s ready to be with her. I mean.

When Harry Met Sally

Hey, guys, remember the time I hadn’t seen When Harry Met Sally until last summer, and then I promptly became completely and utterly enamored with it? Yeah, because that happened. How have I been living my life having not seen this amazing film?! I don’t know either. But what I do know is that Harry loves Sally, and it’s apparent the entire time they were ‘just friends’. But they just didn’t realize it. When Harry rushes to the New Year’s Eve party to tell her how he loves how she hates things and she straight out just says she hates him, it’s a romance that you know was just meant to be.

Love Actually

While Love Actually has a bunch of confessions of love sprinkled throughout the last half of the film, this one might be my favorite. Jamie learns Portugese just to propose to Aurelia – and in front of her family, friends and co-workers and all of the restaurant. And while it’s amazing that he spent so much time learning her language, I think it’s even more amazing that they fell in love with each other having barely being able to understand each other when they speak. Love, while all around, knows no barriers.

10 Things I Hate About You

Raise your hand if you can recite any or all lines from Kat’s poem. This was one of those movies that made our particular generation, and especially pulls at the heartstrings because of the brilliance that is Heath Ledger. While his redemption performance of Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You on the stadium stairs is unforgettable, it is this scene where Kat outwardly admits her love for Patrick that makes your dark heart turn a lighter shade of red.

The Wedding Singer

Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler are obviously RomCom royalty, and this is one of their best films they’ve done together. The ’80s just work for both Drew and Adam, and they created a wonderful world of the wedding circuit that was the perfect background for two unlikely lovers. In this scene, Robbie (Adam) books a flight to Vegas in hopes of stopping Julia (Drew) from eloping with her boyfriend. They end up on the same flight – as Billy Idol – and wouldn’t you know- Billy Idol helps Robbie orchestrate a special mile-high serenade to Julia. The song is the perfect sentiment and the perfect ending for a couple who meet while working for a wedding.

Jerry Maguire

Speaking of movies I’d never seen until last year – this girl waited a super long time to watch Jerry Maguire. It’s a pretty good movie, y’all. I suggest you see it! Despite the fact Tom Cruise has been ruined to me by XENUscientology, his realization that Dorothy is actually the best thing to happen to him is fantastic. Any time someone confesses their feelings in front of unsuspecting members of society, it’s bound to be good. And while Dorothy was good after he said ‘hello’, I gotta admit the rest of that speech wasn’t half bad, either.

Something Borrowed

I love John Krasinski. He is the reason I even paid to see this movie in the theater. I hadn’t even read the book – but J Kras in a romantic comedy? Yes. I’m available. Despite being more well known for his comedic roles, he’s actually a great dramatic actor, and when he brings that depth to a comedic role unexpectedly, he hits it out of the ball park. He did it with his Jim and Pam scenes and he did it when he confessed his love to BFF Rachel in Something Borrowed. I honestly don’t know how you can say no to this guy after this speech.

Runaway Bride

Okay, don’t X out of the window after you read this, but I’ve only seen like 10 minutes of Pretty WomanI KNOW I KNOW. It’s on the list. I can tell you that during my Notting Hill phase I was just overall obsessed with Julia Roberts, which is why my VHS tape of Runaway Bride is also worn out. Runaway Bride was Julia and Richard Gere’s “sequel” to Pretty Woman, but this time, she plays a far different character who is known for ditching her fiances on their wedding day – hence the Runaway part. Richard plays a reporter who is writing an article about said Runaway Bride and believe it or not, they fall in love. But what makes them a match is that he challenges her in ways she had never been challenged before, particularly egging her on to be her own person, and not just who she thinks her boyfriend/husband thinks she should be. So when she proposes to him – and turns in her running shoes – it’s obviously a big deal

You’ve Got Mail

I recently re-watched You’ve Got Mail for the first time since circa 1995, and let me tell you, it’s quite a different experience. Not only because I am an adult now, but – EMAIL! AOL!! CAN YOU BELIEVE WE HAD TO WAIT FOR A DIAL-UP MODEM TO LOG ONTO THE INTERWEBZ?! I digress. The plot obviously still holds up, and that’s why the basis of the story dates all the way back to 1937. Two anonymous pen pals write each other and fall in love, while in real life, they meet each other and are sworn enemies. The final scene isn’t much a confession of love, but rather a big reveal with very little dialogue. But it doesn’t need it – we know exactly how they feel.