We are not going to teach you anything: life is not a rosy comedy. And it’s much better like that. 8 small examples in favor of our somewhat shaky love stories, but thousand times more interesting.
Before being beautiful, love is above all strange and disconcerting. This is why, when we decide to dip a toe for the first time in the bath of romantic relationships, drowning is often guaranteed. We wade pitifully, we cry for help and hang on to the first buoy we find. In this case, the multitude of romantic comedies that treat love in all its forms. We spent our adolescence dissecting them, taking scrupulous notes to try to finally master the codes of the ruthless and mysterious world of sentimental relationships. By dint of injecting massive doses of Hollywood prefabricated love into your veins, you end up believing that this is what love should look like: first fiery kisses in the rain, lightning, at first sight, passionate leaks with your witness on your wedding day … We admit it, we even thought after seeing Pretty Woman that it could be nice to be a prostitute, just to meet your Richard Gere.
Except that in reality, most of the time, you find yourself stuck in a crowded bar trying to hear why your Tinder date called her cat Knacki, and only the junkies who come back from rave parties come to brandish car radios under your windows. Little anthology of things that are very different when you fall in love but you don’t live in a rose-water comedy with Hugh Grant.
1- You never have the right to background music
We are convinced: the very essence of sentimental comedies lies in the background music. What would be the tragic breakup scenes without a sad melody? The long-awaited reunion if it was not seconded by dripping music? Well, they would be like in real life: weird. And much, much less romantic.
The background music erases the discomfort, makes us forget how annoying it is, to go to dinner with someone we like or to kiss a semi-unknown for the first time. With background music, you can stay watching your chosen heart in the eye, smiling and fluttering: the music speaks for you and gives the moment a moving force. In reality, without background music, you will just look like a sociopath trying to hypnotize his next victim. Good luck to catch up with that.
2- It is strictly impossible to catch someone who is about to board a plane
To prevent the love of your life from not going to the other side of the world, in the movies, you have to: wait for the very last moment to decide, rush to the airport, smack six months of salary in a ticket for Peru that you will not use, run to pass faster the security checks, find the terminal trying to tenderize all the staff (“The love of my life is in this plane, I have to catch it!” ), and declare your flame.
In reality, it will never happen. Even if you were with someone scary and obsessive enough to chase you at the airport when you were trying to put a few oceans between the two of you (and you must have had very good reasons for this), don’t worry no: he would be tasered in less than two minutes.
3- We are not always flawless
Unlike actresses in romantic comedies, we already have a hard time matching our panties and bras. So, no, we do not systematically wear sexy fine lingerie . We are not always perfectly shaved , we can have dirty hair, pimples and dark circles. In the morning, you get closer to the octopus than the perfect mermaid. We are not always glamorous, smiling, playful, and well made up. Because we are real, quite simply. And it’s very good like that.
4- The actors cannot drink to be more comfortable
Let it be said: alcohol is the survival kit for the date marathon runner. When it goes well, it helps to relax and be more natural. And when things go wrong, it helps you to endure the paternalistic tirades of an asshole in a suit who tries to persuade you that “All women need a Donald Trump” , or who is surprised that you are still single , “with this lovely 90C”.
5- We cannot take a second take
Imagine how practical it would be if someone could shout “We’re doing it again!” every time you miss something. Do you realize that your dress is torn at the buttocks when you meet her parents for the first time? “We do it again!”. Were you so stressed that you were horribly inept at the first dinner? “We do it again!”!
Somewhere, however, we can be happy not to have this option. Because that is what makes our stories more beautiful than those carefully polished by Hollywood: they are neither smooth nor logical, but full of roughness, fiascos, embarrassed giggles, small misses and big slips. Nobody ever guesses the end of it, by the way.
6- Not everything always ends well
In a romantic comedy, the scenario is immutable: we find the prince charming, we face a bunch of obstacles (fear of engagement, infected mother-in-law, recalcitrant children, ex jealous and other blows of fate), we overcome them and paf! We have the right to eternal happiness. In Hollywood, even Bridget Jones ends up swimming in bliss, with Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey fighting for her beautiful eyes.
In reality, we don’t always have the right to a happy ending. Our love story is also a lot of failures, misunderstandings, lies, and betrayals. But we learn, and we are doing well. Scarlett O’Hara would not survive five minutes in the real world, she.
7- Our phones play a much more important role than what comedies claim
Difficult for modern romantic comedies to show how technology plays a fundamental role in our romantic relationships. Necessarily focused on direct action, they are content to stage a few texting exchanges. But in reality, the very beginning of a relationship is now based on virtual communications. First, there is the careful peeling of Facebook profiles, the exchange of messages, and passages at risk (“Will he take me for a crazy if I like his Instagram photo?”). Not to mention the times when we approach Tinder, and we each test the spread and humor of the other, to know if we should “ghoster” or go for it. It’s a whole world.
8- You have no audience to please or make you dream
Do not think that rose water comedies are harmless because they always end well. They can have a most perverse effect on us: by dint of observing and envying a representation of the perfect relationship, we unconsciously begin to think that love must be staged to be truly lived. We make lists of #relationshipgoals to reach in order to be the perfect couple, we keep in mind that love goes through flashes in public, declarations of love on television, surprise flash mobs, trips at the end of the world, and requests for engagement even better orchestrated than the landing of June 6, 1944.
And yet, there are not (and should not be) spectators at your love story. You don’t have to bother with the gaze of others, even in your relationship: you can do what you want, nobody will come to complain because the ups and downs were not to their tastes. By dint of trying to stage our lives to reach fictitious and unrealistic “standards”, we end up no longer knowing how to appreciate the strangeness and the complexity of reality. Our physique, our work, our holidays, our children, our couple … Everything goes there. So to hell with the charming prince and the feverish declarations of love in the moonlight on an island paradise: what is truly grandiose is to live a love story that even the greatest screenwriters will never manage to put on the screen, simply because it is far too real – and therefore far too beautiful.