Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Present romance films miss realistic mark

Romance movies have received a bad reputation from the public over time. They’re treated as the fluffy movie genre likely to make you roll your eyes when the trailer starts. It makes you wonder why romance movies have become the brunt of jokes and the ones criticized most often.

Maybe unrealistically gorgeous actors lack chemistry, plot lines lack emotional depth or maybe, in the digital age, the classic idea of romance has been warped into something laughable because it seems ridiculous.

As college students we have a completely different view of love compared to our parents. We send emojis to express infatuation and text paragraphs to a person we care about, rather than telling them in person.

In the movie “Gone with the Wind,” two lovers who carry on an affair that lasts years are brought onto the screen with longing looks and the brush of fingertips.

The real question is how we choose to define romance: is it in the stolen glances, or the passionate sex scenes of today?

A review of Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation of “The Choice” by Entertainment Weekly began with: “Two beautiful but bland white people from completely different worlds who, against all odds, fall for each other. And, of course, there’s the unspeakable tragedy that threatens to keep them apart forever.”

Those two sentences convey annoyance and boredom that could be related to an entire slot of romance movies. Where did it all go wrong? Maybe the hopeless romantic within us has been defeated by the skeptical realist, maybe something about a love story has us internally gagging because the plot seems too dreamlike and unbelievable.

In the present time, we treat our phones like an external heart, containing all of our deepest thoughts and feelings. Perhaps the cellphone is our modern version of “You’ve Got Mail,” but this time, we can date without ever running into them in real life.

It makes us take a step back, look at our own hearts and second guess whether a romance movie is truly a snore fest, or maybe we’re being too harsh on two people falling in love before our eyes.

In this moment, we are redefining what romance truly means. With more freedoms, openness, acceptance and technology, we are taking love to a place that we are still unsure of. Now that we have the chance to declare our feelings and desires to another person without the restricting barriers of before, we start to fall into a pattern of criticizing our own ideals of love, even though it’s a work in progress that’s still being defined.

If you’re looking for something to watch at the start of summer, “Me Before You” opens in June. Give it a chance to make you smile, cry or affect your own opinions on love.

I agree that romance movies sometimes miss their mark, and the genre should include two love interests with different sexual identities and races, but I believe we need to give love a second chance to shine on the big-screen.

Email Shania Savastio at shania.savastio@cardinalpointsonline.com

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