Allow us to preface this list of movies that get love all wrong by saying: We watch them, we love them, there’s no judgment here. That being said, these seven films take falling in love to absurd extremes, and we would not recommend following their rules if you’re on the hunt for your one and only.
From totally inappropriate match-ups to over-the-top schemes, these films are looking for love in all the wrong places (har har). Keep scrolling to find out why we think these movies fail at love but will live forever in our hearts (and Netflix queues). And oh yeah, major spoilers ahead.
1How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
This one starts with an absurd premise: A journalist at a women’s magazine gets assigned an “educational” story about how women can be better at dating and decides to meet a guy and do “everything girls do wrong in relationships” to drive him away to prove a point about women’s neediness and failures in love (delightful). But, oh no! The guy she meets is trying to win a bet proving he can get a woman to fall in love with him in 10 days. And — spoiler alert! — they end up together for realsies and live happily ever after. Off to a great start, you two.
Rating: OMG never, ever, ever do this IRL.
2The Twilight series
We know you swoon over Edward (Robert Pattinson) every time you watch this epic love story (and we don’t blame you; he’s very pretty). But can we please just point out that a vampire and a werewolf are fighting over a teenage human girl, and the vampire — who wins her love! — is more than 100 years old when he meets 17-year-old Bella (Kristen Stewart)? Yeesh!
Rating: This romance has got to be a crime in at least one state.
3Something’s Gotta Give
We give this movie props for portraying older people in love, but good grief is this film’s premise unrealistic, not to mention unsavory! Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) has a penchant for dating much younger women, but when he finds himself at the home of his young girlfriend’s mother — and mom Erica Barry (Diane Keaton) unexpectedly shows up — things start to go sideways.
Harry has a heart attack while he’s getting it on with his girl, Marin (Amanda Peet), and must remain at Erica’s house to recover. During his recovery, Harry and Erica both dabble in separate May-December romances but eventually find love with each other — because it’s not at all weird that the women in this story, a mother-daughter pair, end up sleeping with the same man.
Rating: Mom, if you’re reading this, it’s a no from me.
4The Wedding Planner
This movie stars Jennifer Lopez (so already you know it’s going to be excellent) and also features one of the best meet-cute scenes and lines in modern cinema history (yes, we’re standing by that position). J.Lo’s heel gets stuck in a sewer grate, and just as a loose dumpster is about to squish her dead, Matthew McConaughey leaps forth and saves the day. And then, before falling unconscious in his arms, she says, “You saved…my shoe. I mean, my life.” It’s brilliant and perfect and nothing will ever tarnish that moment.
However! This pair’s love story? Way less #adorbz and something we don’t recommend replicating IRL. The two share a romantic evening and a near-kiss following McConaughey’s act of heroics, but J.Lo — whose character, Mary, is a wedding planner — soon discovers that her knight in shining armor is in fact the groom for whom she’s currently planning a wedding! McConaughey’s character, Steve Edison, eventually calls off his wedding and gets with Mary, but you guys — why would you want to be with a man who’s willing to cheat (or almost cheat) on his fiancée? I mean, all relationships are different, but this scenario just doesn’t seem quite right. That is some shady ish!
Rating: Girl, you deserve better.
Yes, it’s a classic. But seriously. The moral of the story is, change yourself to be with the one you love? Continue loving someone who rebuffs you in front of their friends because they think you’re not cool enough? And, once again, literally give up your entire identity to please another person? Uhh, bad life advice.
Rating: Sorry, please try again.
File this one under “things you should never do to someone you love.” Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) play coworker-BFFs who have what you might call an ~inappropriate~ friendship. There’s a clear flirtation between them, and even though they’re both in other relationships, they allow that flirtation to blossom. While it’s actually Luke’s fiancée who ends up having a physical affair with another man (she kisses someone while she’s on vacation) Luke and Kate’s emotional infidelity is undoubtedly damaging to their respective relationships, creating distance between them and their partners. Emotional honesty is not a priority in this movie, but it should be in every IRL relationship.
Rating: Don’t try this at home.
7Bridget Jones’s Diary
At the core of this film is the story of a woman, Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger), whose self-esteem is so low she decides to completely change her life/herself after a man, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), says a bunch of mean things about her (he calls her “a verbally incontinent spinster who smokes like a chimney, drinks like a fish, and dresses like her mother” — ouch). Mark even stoops to violence, punching Bridget’s other love interest Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) after he shows up drunk at Bridget’s birthday party.
This movie is basically all of the bad love advice you got as a kid, rolled into a nice, neat ball and tied with a bow: Boys who are mean to you actually like you, and men who really love you will “defend your honor” by any means necessary.
Rating: Check, please!