Enjoying a romantic comedy requires suspension of disbelief, and we accept that. Weird coincidences, quirky best friends who would qualify for institutional life were they real, gorgeous women whose successful careers make them undateable: we'll pretend to believe it all! But sometimes, a movie crosses a line, making you want to stand up and scream, "I'LL MEET-CUTE YOU IN A DARK ALLEY, KATHERINE HEIGL!" Here are some of the worst offenders:
1. The film: Never Been Kissed
The plot: Nerdy reporter poses as a cool high school student to write exposés on teen life, falls in love with hot English teacher.
Why it's wrong: The teacher falls in love back. With a girl he thinks is 17! It would take the disbelief suspension of a Superman to make this not gross and illegal. Don't even get us started on the fact that Drew Barrymore's character, who starts out as a Chicago Sun-Times copy editor, has her own office and personal assistant. (We were a copy editor once. We worked in a closet-sized cubicle, under a buzzing fluorescent light.)
2. The film: 50 First Dates
The plot: A commitment-shy dude falls in love with a woman who suffered a serious brain injury, rendering her incapable of forming memories of anything that happened after her accident. He has to make her fall in love with him again every day! Awww.
Why it's wrong: This is actually a pretty sweet movie...about a seriously, repeatedly traumatized woman who has to wake up daily to a sweaty dude who looks like Adam Sandler and wants to make out with her face. EEK! Are we wrong? Does the cuteness outweigh the horror?
3. The film: Lars and the Real Girl
The plot: A pathologically shy young man forms a deep attachment to a life-sized "companion" doll—the kind designed for the loneliest people in the world—and apparently believes that she is his flesh and blood girlfriend. His cute (human) coworker falls for him, and makes a play once the doll is out of the picture.
Why it's wrong: Just because a character is played by Ryan Gosling doesn't mean he isn't a disturbed individual. Plus, *SPOILER ALERT* it seems, at the end, like he might have actually "killed" his doll girlfriend. Which he perceived as a real woman! This is more of an indie flick than a rom-com, we s'pose, but it could've done without the human love-interest storyline.
4. The film: Pretty Woman
The plot: Do we even have to say? Cute, stressed businessman falls for sexy, free-spirited prostitute, saves her from the profession.
Why it's wrong: Forget for a moment that Julia Roberts' character is a hooker, and reflect on the fact that Richard Gere is still playing the kind of guy who would hire a hooker. It's all very sweet to think that these two wrongs can make a right, but we just don't see a happily ever after here.
5. The film: Failure to Launch
The plot: In an effort to get 35-year-old manchild Matthew McConaughey to move out of their house, his parents hire Sarah Jessica Parker to "date" him till he has the confidence to move out. Predictably, the two fall in love for real.
Why it's wrong: Any woman whose business model goes 1) pretend to date basement-bound weirdo, 2) string him along till he moves out of his parents' house, then 3) dump him will likely find herself at the bottom of a river after dating the local Strangler.
Do you think these rom-coms are just a leeeetle bit creepy? What's your favorite rom-com? Which one do you HATE?