Photo: ‘The Notebook’ and ‘God’s Own Country’
Oh yes, the darling and enchanting world of romantic films. Most of us know every little corny line by heart, and even some of us can watch these films repeatedly without ever getting bored or sick of it; one example of this is someone I personally know who watches ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ any chance she gets (even if it comes on cable TV in Spanish and she can’t understand what they’re saying). It’s because of all of this that it is completely fair to say that the romantic film genre does make an emotional impact on audiences in a variety of ways.
But, when looking at romantic films as a whole on a surface level, from a critic standpoint it seems as though it’s worth focusing on the before mentioned emotional impact of this genre in Cinema. More specifically, how this emotional impact is both a fantastic and magical thing, along with something that could potentially be quite harmful to one’s view of romance and how to achieve it.
How We Adore To Experience True Love
To start this off, I want to make a quick disclaimer that films are always incredible in their own way and it’s not easy to create a film in general. There’s time and effort put into the pre-production of the writing, and then finding the perfect actors, and finally landing into the actual production phase where you can make the movie actually come to life. So, with that said, if you enjoy specific romantic films that can lean towards giving a bad influence on how one should approach the world of falling in love and finding that special someone, I want to tell you that it’s incredible that you love them! I’m glad that individuals can find something they love about a film, and be able to sit back and really enjoy them.
What I overall want to achieve through this article is to simply bring awareness of how love in Cinema can truly be through my personal lens; I want you fantastic readers to be able to still go out and enjoy that wonderful movie butter-flavored popcorn as you sit and experience a fictional world that will hopefully bring a smile on your face.
With that said, let’s get back on track with this article. The most notable examples of romantic films that can come to mind of the majority of lovers of this genre seem to be ‘A Star Is Born’, ‘The Notebook’ and ‘A Walk To Remember’. Of course, there are way more films I could list out, but like the main character in a rom-com after meeting her “Prince Charming”, I’d end up just going on and on about talking about them. Interestingly enough, however, according to Rotten Tomatoes, romantic films that seem to be the most highly rated are movies such as ‘Singin’ in the Rain’, ‘The Big Sick’, ‘The Shape of Water’, etc.
A similar theme that seems to be flooding throughout these films all centers around one romantic concept: falling in love when you were least expecting it. This is something worth noting here mainly due to how this way of falling in love seems to be the most optimal way to enter a relationship; the element of surprise bringing us a lot of excitement within ourselves, and what is soon to come for us. Personally, it brings a smile to my face to see the theme of unexpected love being the most liked amongst audiences since it overall feels like the most realistic and least toxic way that we can expect to find love in the real world.
The Good And The Ugly Sides Of Love
Ultimately, there are two routes a romantic film can seem to take in regards to whether or not it will make a considerable positive impact on audiences. On one hand, there are films that hopeless romantics, and general film-watchers, can experience and whether or not they showcase a healthy relationship (or a healthy expectation on relationships) they will acknowledge that overall fantasy-Esque romantic films are just that: fantasy.
However, on the other hand, some individuals may not know that real romance isn’t always going to be like it is in the movies. As humans, we need guidance most of the time; and we want to dive ourselves into a world where we can be inspired and reminded of the great big world that’s out there for us. But, sometimes we may rely too heavily on this guidance. One example that comes to mind is the general concept that some romantic films touch on, and that’s the concept of “when you know, you know”.
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If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, “when you know, you know” revolves around the notion that (in regards to romance) once you meet this one singular person, you will intuitively know that they’re the one you’re meant to be in a relationship with. This sounds completely magical, and on a basic level, it sounds as though maybe that’s what’s meant to be looked for for those searching for love. But, in reality, this concept is seemingly an unfair idea to think about. We don’t always know if the person we’re with is the one we’re spending our lives with; life is so unpredictable, and that’s what’s makes it fun at times. Of course, as human beings, we can get a gut feeling about whether or not someone is romantically fit for us; but this concept can bring a lot of anxiety to people and might make them question their relationship when nothing was wrong in the first place.
The idea of “when you know, you know” is just one of many examples in the realm of bad influence stemming from love in Cinema; but it’s arguably the biggest. Nevertheless, there are also great examples of a positive influence on audience members. The simplest concept to focus on in this regard mainly involves simply showing how beautiful love can be when it’s healthy; when it’s lovely and something that makes you excited about continuing on your journey in the world, and all the while still being who you’ve always been.
This person may not always be from royalty, or they may not be a cute outsider from your small-town that shows you that city life isn’t all that you are, but they’re someone that makes you experience a human emotion that makes you want to shout from the rooftops with how much you love having them around. Something that betters you in your life, and never brings you down. I know this concept is less specific than the rather less beneficial one I talked about, but it’s one that not many romantic films tend to focus on interestingly enough.
Romantic Films – And They Bloomingly Lived Happily-Ever-After
In short, love in Cinema is both broad and something that you can specifically take in. It seemingly subconsciously implants ideas of love into your head in both a way that can make you live your best life in the world of love, or have you believe something that could potentially hurt your love life in the future. No matter who you love, we all deserve to see an accurate representation of love on Cinema screens; and this especially goes for LGBTQ+ relationships (which we definitely need more of, that’s for sure).
It’s important to see something that forms a large part of many people’s lives, and it’s overall more important that we see that be showcased healthily. However, I’m not saying that we should take away creating this magical and fairy-tale-like romance (they’re so fun to watch!); but rather, that we as audience members become aware that those films are just fantasy and aren’t entirely great guidelines for how the real world will feel in terms of love.
Conclusively, the note that I want to end this off with is that loving someone is not as easy as finding someone that will randomly confess their love to you after having a dramatic fight based on a misunderstanding. Loving someone is a process and something that requires you to go out and love to fully understand. Romantic films are an amazing outlet to see the basis of how some relationships can be; but, I encourage those of you looking for a future steady relationship to keep being you and find that special someone that will let you be who you truly are despite what a movie has potentially made you feel otherwise.
By Leah Donato
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