Romantic Comedies Warp Your Brain

Romantic Comedies

The next time you're aching for a Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon-type of movie, but he swears Transformers was, really, just crazy underrated—let him win this one. It'll be good for him and good for your easily, impressionable female mind.

Or so says Edinburgh researchers at Heriot Wyatt University, who are blaming romantic comedies for encouraging "unrealistic expectations" when it comes to relationships and love. They hypothesized movies like You've Got Mail and While You Were Sleeping are causing partners (they use the gender neutral term, but c'mon, it's women) to communicate less and expect more. Dangerous! 

Hollywood, they say, creates a microwaved version of relationships. Everything is sped up to fit the 2 hour time frame so viewers walk away thinking trust and commitment should happen immediately, sex is always earth-shatteringly good, and all sorts of soft, fuzzy internal messages can be transmitted through a lingering glance.

For the study, 100 students watched Serendipity (a schmoopy Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack movie) while another 100 watched a drama by the dark, artsy David Lynch.

It doesn't mention what sort of questions were asked afterward, but the authors say those who watched the romantic comedy were more likely to believe in fate and predestined love. The article also doesn't mention how those who watched this mysterious "David Lynch drama" were effected. We slept with the lights on for a week straight after watching Mulholland Drive.

These same scientists are now investigating the media and how it shapes relationships. Well, nobody can down us for propagating unrealistic ideals. We talk about marriage without monogamy for godsakes.