Romantic Comedies promise love through impossible and inspiring circumstances; the first person you kiss always seems to be your soul mate, and the person you are supposed to marry is always left at the alter when you realize who you really wanted was the casual friend who has been there all along. Modern romances seemed to have shifted, offering plausible situations that seem to tell the audience love is something you find yourself. For example, in Must Love Dogs we watch a heartbroken Diane Lane put herself out there on multiple dating websites until she finds someone new to spend the rest of her life with. In 500 Days of Summer, Tom Hansen learns that your true love is not someone you have to convince yourself is your soul mate. I spent a good portion of my life boasting about how High Fidelity was the most realistic romantic comedy and fairest portrayal of monogamy. Today, I realize how wrong I’ve been all along.
My celebrity soul mate? John Cusack. According to Must Love Dogs, he’s a mouse click away. According to High Fidelity, he’s the moody, unappreciative guy at the record store. I spent so much of my youth wishing High Fidelity’s Rob Gordon existed, when it hit me: he’s everywhere. I seem to only know over analyzing, self-centered, jealous, somewhat charming guys and have no interest in any of them. Technically, my fictional-character soul mate exists in abundance and I want nothing to do with him; in fact, I would be miserable if I dated him. It was a sad day when I realized this. How can we find Mr. Right when Mr. Perfect-for-me isn’t even good enough?
If we consider that movies make us delusional about love, we have to consider that movies are delusional about love to begin with. The Notebook: If Ally hadn’t spontaneously visited Noah and found out he wrote her a letter everyday for a year, or it hadn’t started raining after that whimsical boat ride, she probably would have just married her fiancée and lived as equally happy ever after. The whole perception of the movie would have been altered, Noah would have been her first love, Tom, her true love. In the end your love is the love you decide to be with. This is why prostitution should be done for money and not to meet a Richard Gere to mutually make each other better, happier people.
All I’ve learned from the movies is that I’ve learned nothing, I’m constantly wrong about everything, with love its no different than from the time I saw Uptown Girls and pursued the au pair business. Despite everything, I find myself like Tom Hansen, remaining optimistic that a movie-like love will find it’s way to me when I least expect it, and I know I’m not the only one. I’m bound to meet someone as delusional and assuming as me.
By Melanie Kozlan