NPR logo Rom-Coms Can Ruin Your Love Life?

Cutting Room Floor

Rom-Coms Can Ruin Your Love Life?

It's Christmas afternoon. You and your beloved are anxious to try out your new Smittens, so you propose a movie. You're feeling warm and cozy and lovey dovey, so a romantic comedy — say, Marley & Me, is the obvious choice, right? Not so fast. According to a study out of Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, your box office pick may actually be a 1-way ticket to couples counseling. They studied 40 top rom-coms like You've Got Mail and The Wedding Singer, and concluded they promote unrealistic expectations and poor communication. Says Dr. Bjarne Holmes:

Marriage counsellors often see couples who believe that sex should always be perfect, and if someone is meant to be with you then they will know what you want without you needing to communicate it ... We now have some emerging evidence that suggests popular media play a role in perpetuating these ideas in people's minds.

So, maybe this Christmas, say yes to another movie — I hear Slumdog Millionaire is great, and even has a love story that'll keep your Smittens firmly linked.



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