Finding the Real True Love in Rom Coms

I think I’m beginning to completely miss the point of romantic comedies. When I was in high school and college, I would watch these fun fairy tales for grown ups and swoon over the bumbling adorableness of Hugh Grant (he just wants to love you!), the mischievous smile of Matthew McConaughey (he wants to change his playboy ways for you!), and the… Well, everything of Josh Hartnett.

But now that I’ve reluctantly entered the real world, and with it, the professional work force, I find myself falling in love with a different prince in these modern-day fairytales: The completely ridiculous dream jobs these chicks have.

I mean, seriously. How am I supposed to focus on James Marsden’s chiseled cheekbones in 27 Dresses when Katherine Heigl has such an awesome job? Who the heck cares if she doesn’t get with that guy she’s been crushing on, or the fact that her sister is a grade-A brat? LOOK AT THE APARTMENT SHE CAN AFFORD ON HER KICK-BUTT SALARY.

Heigl’s character is obviously very successful at her job – she carries around a Filofax literally bursting at the seams, so full is it of all her many important appointments. And take a look at that office – beautiful, open spaces, bursting with color and personality, and full of co-workers who think it’s totally cool when you roll in late wearing a strategically tied shirt that belonged to a groomsman at last night’s wedding. Not to mention the fact that her job still provides regular enough working hours that she is able to actively maintain bridesmaids-level close friendships with twenty-seven different friends. Who, judging on the various styles of weddings, are all from completely different social circles!

How am I, a broke twenty-something still waiting for her knight in shining 401k armor to come along, supposed to buy this Katherine Heigl character as a “damsel in distress?” At the absolute worst, if it doesn’t work out with her dream guy (her boss,) she’ll get fired and have to coast on savings from her outrageous salary for a few months in her dream apartment. She could even call up that news reporter she’s been flirting with if she needs a way to pass the time.

And don’t even get me STARTED on Kate Hudson in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. This movie is hands-down the absolute worst offender of the “job is more appealing than the man” crime. Not that Golden Globe winner Matthew McConaughey (man, that’s fun to type) doesn’t have plenty of appealing Prince Charming qualities to offer, but…. THE CHICK IS LITERALLY PAID TO WRITE ONE “HOW TO” COLUMN A WEEK. She spends her time at the office with her beautiful best friends. They attend morning meetings in bare feet, then spend the afternoon trying on couture clothes from the magazine’s sample closet. She gets all the time in the world she wants to hang out in NYC and write when it’s most convenient for her. She could get spend hours at a fabulous high-end bar on the magazine’s tab and turn it into a “How To Beat a Hangover” article. She could go shopping on Fifth Avenue, charge it to the magazine, and then write a “How To Flatter Your Body Shape” article. Heck, the movie opens with her demonstrating “How To Flirt Your Way Out of a Ticket.”

What’s even more impressive about these women’s impressive careers are the age at which they have moved to the top of the ladder.  In My Best Friend’s Wedding, Julia Roberts plays a New York food critic, a job she is already well established and comfortable in at age 28. TWENTY-EIGHT, people. In order to have secured that job so young, she would’ve had to have her act completely together the moment she graduated, landed just the right internships and jobs immediately upon entering the workforce, and somehow had enough money to support herself in New York City as she worked her way up the ladder.

Man, for all their indecision with matters of the heart, the women of the chick flick world sure knew exactly what they wanted their careers to be. Most of my friends graduated without a clue and spent a good five years or so bouncing from job to job until finally realizing their calling. How am I supposed to feel sorry that Julia Roberts’ best friend is getting married when she’s already living the dream?*

So attention fictional women with high-end high-paying jobs: You can keep your Marsdens, Efrons, and McConaugheys. Go chasing after the men of your dreams all you want. Just don’t expect your job to be open when you come back.

*It’s worth mentioning that the one possible exception to this rant is Julia Roberts’ profession in Pretty Woman. As glamorous as she and Richard Gere make it look, she can go ahead and keep that one for herself.

Emmaline is an Atlanta-based writer who spends her days drinking Coke, cheering on the Braves, and getting way too emotionally invested in fictional television romances. Check her out at or @EmmalineWrites.

Featured Image via Shutterstock.

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