All the rom com tropes we'd like to have IRL
Suspension of disbelief is sometimes necessary when a film or television show presents us with a scenario that we need to buy into for ideal fictional purposes. Even though we know that these things would never (or hardly ever) transpire in real life, we shrug, let it go and give into rom com movie magic. But if you’re anything like us, sometimes you wonder what it would be like if these things actually COULD and DID happen. Things like . . .
Being able to hop on a plane at a moment’s notice . . . because you’re in love
This trope has always turned us green with envy. How are these people able to decide on a whim that jumping on a flight is the best way to tell someone they love them? Sure, it’s romantic, but what about all the practical stuff? Except for George Clooney’s character in Up In The Air, no one has enough points or mileage to do this the second the idea hits. Do these characters not care about racking up credit card debt? Is there a trust fund that wasn’t mentioned yet in the plot? Flying within the United States is expensive. Flying from the U.S. to another country is even more so, and yet movie characters always seem to be jetting around. Take for instance, What If in which Daniel Radcliffe jumps on a plane from Canada to Ireland to profess his love to Zoe Kazan. We’ll just ignore the fact that we’re pretty sure Daniel Radcliffe’s character didn’t even have a job. All that aside, it would be REALLY nice if we could all follow this rom com flight-hopping pattern.
Friends who have all the time in the world to devote to our romantic problems
Our friends IRL are amazing. They listen to us and support us, take us out when we’re in a funk, and have a dance party when everything is awesome. But in onscreen life, best friends devote an inordinate amount of time to the main character’s personal drama. They sometimes go to great lengths to intervene to make sure the main couple gets together at the end of the movie and they’re constantly going above and beyond. Remember when all the girls in Sex and the City took a last-minute vacations when Carrie had her heart-broken? Wouldn’t it be amazing if it things like that could actually happen that quickly? Also who hasn’t daydreamed once or twice about a friend running into one of our exes to give them an eloquent well-stated piece of their mind? Thank you Charlotte for speaking the, “I curse the day you were born” line to Mr. Big.
The guts to quit a job in a burst of inspiration and love feelings
Think about how Dorothy (Renée Zellweger) quits her job to follow Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) before she even really knows him. And she does it all because she’s inspired by his mission statement and crushes on him from afar. It’s romantic and impetuous and we swoon over their courtship that follows. But no one quits a job in a burst of tender emotion without the slightest consideration about the bills that need to be paid or in Dorothy’s case, a child who needs to be raised. But what if you could? What if you could leave everything up to chance and ditch an unfulfilling job simply because you felt inspired? It’s kind of a nice fantasy, but then we remember our college loans and, well, yeah.
A celebrity who steps in to save the day
Obviously romantic gestures of all calibers happen in real life, but how many people can enlist the help of a celebrity to perform a song or pull a stunt to capture the attention of someone’s significant other? I’m looking at you Billy Idol in The Wedding Singer. That said, if our significant others somehow managed to get Chris Pine or Leonardo DiCaprio to surprise us, we might happen to forget all about our S.O.s. Maybe we should leave this trope in the movies.
Looking absolutely gorgeous in pouring rain
It always seems to follow that a character has to run through the pouring rain as soon as they realize it’s time for all the love declarations to happen. Meanwhile, when we run or walk in heavy rain, our hair gets matted and stringy, our makeup runs down to our chin, and everything gets squishy and uncomfortable. Somehow in movies showing up drenched makes you even more attractive and adorable. Movie hair falls flawlessly in wet ringlets, makeup hasn’t moved and outfits provocatively cling to your body. Think about Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I’m sorry, but who in their right mind doesn’t wish that was the case in real life?
Being young and broke but still having a huge, fabulous apartment
In real life when you’re dating in your twenties and you want to bring a potential love interest back to your place there are a lot of things to consider. Are the roommates home? Have they left trash lying around? If they’re monopolizing the living room, is it weird to go hang out in your postage stamp sized bedroom? But in the movies, even if you have an assistant job and are always in scramble mode (hi there 27 Dresses), your apartment is spacious and beautiful and perfectly conducive for entertaining guests at any time. In movies, if roommates are involved they either make themselves conveniently scarce or insanely supportive. I think we can all agree we want walk-in closets and considerate roommates, even if we are on a tiny budget.
Having the moment of realization, before it’s too late
Timing is something that often doesn’t match up in real life. Often one person falls in love when the other isn’t emotionally ready. Or maybe two people date, but one person wants to take the next step and the other one doesn’t — but then decides later that they do and the person who used to be ready has now moved on and it’s a huge disastrous mess. OR there’s an imbalanced friendship where one person has romantic feelings and the other doesn’t. Fictional characters will inevitably have a day where one of them wakes up and discovers they are actually in love with the other and it somehow works out perfectly. In movie world, whoever is struck with the sudden truth that they’re in love generally figures it out just in the nick of time, and everyone can live happily ever after. Sadly, IRL, that just doesn’t seem to be the case.
Always, always having the perfect comeback
Often in our every day lives something happens or something is said that we are totally unprepared for and hours or days later we think up the perfect sassy or biting response to take back our power. Not a problem in the movies. Even if you can’t think of it yourself, you can enlist the help of your friends to secretly feed you with some gems like in John Tucker Must Die. Although our personal favorite is When Harry Met Sally where Meg Ryan says to Billy Crystal, “I am not your consolation prize, Harry.” If only we all had an app that could give us zingers for every possible situation.
Maybe we’ll just keep watching rom coms and hope some of this happens by osmosis.