Mr. Romanc and Rom-Com Marital Damage

You know the Mr. Romance pageant at RT? The one I missed because I had to leave early to eat the bread of oppression last year?

Variety is reporting that a comedy is in the works about “a cynical guy who is forced to enter the Mr. Romance competition to win back the love of his life. The competition, which finds hunks whose photos grace the bodice-ripping covers of romance novels, is a real event.”

Oh, boy. This can’t end well.

Here’s my favorite part: “Romance novels sell 50% of all books, and there is a convention where guys submit themselves to physical and psychological tests to determine their romantic IQ.”

Does anyone find that as hilarious as I do? “Psychological tests?!”

[Thanks to KatieBabs for the link.]

So many people have forwarded this link, I was almost reluctant to read it, because after the New York Times Book Review, I was not sure my blood pressure could take another spike. But here we go anyway.

“Relationship experts” at Heriot Watt University blame romantic comedies for promoting unrealistic expectations when it comes to love. Fans “often fail to communicate with their partners effectively, with many holding the view that if someone is meant to be with you, then they should know what you want without you needing to tell them.”

Oh, for fuck’s sake.

Dear Heriot Watt University “experts:”

Being a self-absorbed douchewad who doesn’t think that communication is important to a relationship is much more detrimental to marital happiness. But it’s much more fun to blame romance, romantic comedies, and anything else that espouses romantic happiness.

As part of the project, 100 student volunteers were asked to watch the 2001 romantic comedy Serendipity, while a further 100 watched a David Lynch drama.

Students watching the romantic film were later found to be more likely to believe in fate and destiny. A further study found that fans of romantic comedies had a stronger belief in predestined love.

No word on what was asked of the David Lynch viewers.

If you’d like to participate, you too can play along at home.

Comments are Closed

  1. And yet it will be one of those things I’ll feel compelled to check out at least once just because.

    verification is expect83—could that be expect to see at least 83 monumentally atrocious things in this proposed show?

  2. Silver James says:

    Wasn’t there a reality show on some time back to pick a Mr. Romance? All these hunky men were *taught* things to make them more romantic with one being eliminated each week? I seem to remember judges wearing white togas and some woman who may have been a romance writer (I honestly don’t remember the name or recognize her face at the time) was the head love goddess or something? Was definitely squick-worthy rather than squee-worthy.

    WTF’s up with with Heriot Watt U? How scientific was the study? Were those students asked how they felt about love BEFORE watching the moving? (Sorry, I don’t have time to check the full links this morning, so I toss the question out rhetorically…)

  3. Cassie says:

    What a bizarre concept.  Romantic comedies as relationship destroyers?????  I don’t really like romantic comedies, actually, so I wouldn’t know.  I prefer a romance novel to a movie.  But then again, I’m not a big fan of most movies in general, so what do I know. 

    The whole idea of romantic comedy fandom being linked to believing in fate and predestined love seems a bit of a stretch to me…

  4. Michele says:

    – No word on what was asked of the David Lynch viewers.

    I don’t think they wanted to know what the David Lynch viewers thought. Yet if I to chose between a romantic comedy and a David Lynch movie I’d probably chose none of the above. I’m not too crazy about most romantic comedies because they lack intelligence and seem contrived more often than not.

  5. Viewing one romantic comedy makes for a legitimate study?  I have a hard time accepting that.  Now, if they’d watched The Lady Eve, Cluny Brown, Born Yesterday, When Harry Met Sally and Earth Girls are Easy, and then drew conclusions about romantic relationships, I’d find this to be worth pursuing.

    One movie, just like one book, does not a good study make.

  6. Miranda says:

    …if someone is meant to be with you, then they should know what you want without you needing to tell them

    A lot of the time, what’s wanted is to not be treated like a combination of maid, concubine, and mother, and that should be obvious without discussion.

    As for believing in predestined love, I think that’s a lot better than the advice to settle for someone that’s ‘good enough’ (for what, I wonder), so you don’t end up old, alone, and eaten by your cats (TM someone I don’t remember).

  7. Lee says:

    Wasn’t there a reality show on some time back to pick a Mr. Romance?

    Hey, I remember that show.  It featured Fabio dispensing his expertise on all things romantic to the men competing.  Considering the show was the brain child of none other than Gene Simmons, it couldn’t help but be squicky. 

    You know…  That isn’t the only comedy centered around the romance novel industry that’s in the works.  A screenwriter is raising funds to indy produce his film.  The script won some awards, apparently.

  8. Flo says:

    Quickly!  QUICKLY!  Blame someone else for your own problems of not communicating!

    They have a point.  I fell prey to the whole “Wait it’s NOT like it is in the romance novel?  WHERE ARE MY DAMN STARS AND ANGEL CHORUS SINGING WHEN I ORGASM?????”

    You get over it.  And if you have a good man who falls off the bed laughing hysterically at you when you explain why you’re upset and THEN lets you beat him senseless with a pillow while he laughs you should be fine.

    I hate groups that enable the same behaviors and blame outside material for people’s own beliefs.

  9. Jody W. says:

    The romantic comedy that is ruining my life is “Enchanted”.  I keep trying to sing so the rats and cockroaches will clean our house, but it’s not working.  Is it my singing?  Is it the fact I don’t have enough rats and cockroaches around here?  I don’t know but the house remains dirty, which is causing marital distress, since he’s always puttering around cleaning when we could be soulfully gazing into one another’s eyes.  Doesn’t he understand that the rats and cockroaches are supposed to clean the house and not the humans?

  10. Silver James says:

    Jody, you made me snort coffee out my nose. I’ll have to stop drinking when I read the comments, too!

  11. Lori says:

    Newspapers often do a very poor job of reporting on scientific studies.  I really hope that’s what’s going on here because if the story is accurate the “experts” at Heriot Watt University should ashamed of themselves.  As described, the study is so poorly designed that it makes my head hurt.  I hate to even consider that these people are teachers and are passing this crap on.

  12. amy lane says:

    THOSE WERE THEIR CHOICES?  Holy shit!  And they’re worried about romance communication?  What about basic common sense? 

    Jody, I find that if I shriek loud enough to make their ears bleed, the four other pre-humans who have taken residence in my house WILL do housework.  Just not well.  And it sure ain’t singing.

  13. Gennita Low says:

    David Lynch’s films and stories ARE romantic comedies.  On acid.  Twin Peaks, anyone?

  14. Ankoku-jin says:

    Mind you, the same could be said for porn, magazine ads, and similar—plenty of people are going to buy into the ideals presented therein, and so fall prey to insecurity and unhappiness when reality proves somewhat different and rather more lumpy. ;P

    I am still amazed at the people I know, male and female,  who totally expect that out there somewhere is the perfect lover who is going to sweep them away in a hail of sparkles and unicorns and simultaneous orgasms. The worst part is watching them being constantly lonely or brokenhearted because no-one fits this unrealistic ideal of theirs.

    happened59…. nah, it happened back when I was 27 and we’ve been together ever since. Lots of work but worth it. 😉

  15. Jodie says:

    I took the test! It was a bit of a mixed expereince really. Some of the questions seem designed to obtain real results and avoid bias while some are clearly only looking to back up the thesis.

    I saw Twilight last night and if anything is going to enforce the idea that relationships should be telepathic and ideally sexual it’s gonna be that crazy film – not Four Weddings or Maid in Manhattan.

  16. Emily says:

    Haha, I imagine an expurgated portion of the study reporting that “Students watching the David Lynch film were later found to be jumpier and more suspicious, twitching at the slightest noise and cultivating a deep distrust in all humanity.”

    I mean, I love David Lynch.  I would much rather watch his stuff than most romantic comedies.  But come on now, that’s just silly.

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