Romantic Comedy Movie centers around a female character who at first dislikes a male character — due to their oppositional personalities, worldviews, lifestyles, etc. — but through a series of comedic circumstances, becomes steadily more enamored with him, enabling them to grow closer to cultural ideals for goodness, and climaxing with a dramatic public confession of love. Complicating the plot was the male character’s Terrible Secret, which brought about a long depressing period in the third act, but I suppose was necessary to reach a satisfying conclusion.
The film induced in me the correct physiological reaction: a measure of oxytocin, dopamine, and lowered testosterone. The woman wasn’t too attractive — as that would hurt female viewers’ ability to identify with her — and the man was the sort of handsome sleazebag who undergoes a transformation into a “good” person by the end. I have to say, it comforted me to learn that by having a girlfriend, a terrible human being can be converted alchemically into a caring compassionate person, like Hitler after meeting Eva Braun; remember that?
The traditional gender stereotypes also soothed my anxiety over Obama’s anarchic progressive culture. The way the woman was so obsessed with her job as to be an icy bitch, and the way the man was funny but deceitful (though not so deceitful to be considered morally bankrupt) comforted me the way staring at Disney font comforts me. With its heterosexual, racially homogenous couple, I didn’t have to consider complicated social/cultural issues. And the film only covered the relationship’s early months in which hormones associated with love are at their maximum rather than the slow decline from passion to affection to fondness to hate to apathy to disappointment. After all, no one wants to watch a movie about my parents. And the fact the male was in his 30’s while she was approximately 24 (prime child bearing age) agreed with my conception of standard male to female age difference.
Watching two people pretend to be in love might be my favorite activity. I watch them on TV, in movies, in commercials, on billboards, in magazines, at my parents’ house — mmm, cotton candy sweetness. Real relationships, on the other hand, are slow descents into a bleak dystopian hellscape, full of dead horses and wingless skeletal birds, empty sockets glaring out of the darkness, teeth sunk in flesh, “Brad, when was the last time you ate a vegetable?” Why experience all that when I can, through mirror neurons, live inside the lives of fake people on TV. I could watch it all day every day until my soul leaves this shriveled white husk and dissipates like smoke billowing off a burning garbage pile.
I pay people sometimes. I call up actors and invite them to my house. Before they arrive, I cook dinner, light candles, and set out some wine. Then when they arrive, I watch them pretend to fall in love with each other, deep passionate love. My requirements: they must be attractive, they must be late twenties to early thirties (old people are gross), and they must — they must! — make me believe them. I find it increases the visceral thrill of a romantic comedy if it’s live and in your home because you can reach out and touch them. But you don’t touch them. You could, but you don’t. You only watch.
Romantic Comedy Movie was not live, but still managed to reinforce my wildly skewed expectations regarding romantic relationships. As far as I can tell, an acceptable girlfriend will be hyper, funny, responsible, gorgeous at all times (as in, wears make up to bed), the precise weight between anorexic and curvy, a good singer, and the exact perfect human match engineered by God to fulfill my every need. I will be incapable of conjuring romantic affection for any other girl. A mystical force will guide me via destiny/fate to this woman because, as we all know, the universe is nurturing and benevolent and definitely not a bleak dystopian hellscape with aforementioned dead horses, etc. She will solve all my problems and be the most important thing in my life.
Sometimes I go to Olive Garden and sit near couples. I listen to them get to know each other, their flirting, their awkward conversations, and I eat up their love like a homeless man eats up stale half-eaten pizza. I have noise amplification headphones, so I can hear their every “So, do you like music?”, “What’s your major?” and “Oh my God, me too! We’re like the same person!” I follow them back to her apartment, watch them walk up to her door, watch them mash their hot wet faces together. I am Uatu the Watcher. I am the Observer. I am a pair of binoculars behind a Honda Civic windshield in the distance.
Romantic Comedy Movie is an excellent addition to the romantic myth genre, which arose at a time when most marriages were arranged by malevolent forces. Romantic myths arose from a desire for a deeper connection to the random men/women to whom you were sold or raffled or obligated to marry in order to merge property. Now, however, they serve only to unhinge us from this stark hopeless reality where we all inevitably die alone — a function Romantic Comedy Movie performs perfectly.
In conclusion, I highly recommend Romantic Comedy Movie. It taught me that trust and intimacy come within a few days into a relationship. It taught me that past transgressions, whether sexing the girlfriend’s mom or lying about, I don’t know, absolutely everything, can be forgiven. It taught me that unattractive people only exist to be the quipster friends of the attractive people in love. And it taught me that if an unattractive person creeps, it’s terrifying, but if an attractive person creeps, oh my, it’s the most romantic thing imaginable.