I don’t count myself among the cynics. I promise you, I love a good romance. There’s something delightfully indulgent in letting yourself be swept up in a love story. I love that Tom Hanks knows that Meg Ryan’s favorite flower is the daisy in You’ve Got Mail. That he reads Pride and Prejudice in order to impress her. I get a little choked up when Joel Barish simply tells Clementine “Okay,” after she lists the reasons why their relationship won’t work. My heart flips when Harold Crick presents a bouquet of flours to his baker sweetheart Ana. But those love stories are not the ones that usually get attention. Those aren't "classic" romantic plots. Maybe there’s something broken and warped in my soul, but these more famous interactions never got to me. So since February is upon us and it is Valentine’s Day, let’s take a moment to reassess these iconic “romantic gestures” for what they really are.
Love Actually: I actually have a lot of affection for this sappy and divisive British romance. But this particular plot line? Buddy, your best friend is right upstairs and this? This is his wife. I know many think this little cue card display is the sweetest thing. That he's not asking anything of her, just closure. Me? I think it's selfish. You have a crush on your best friend's girl? Listen to The Cars. Write in your journal about it. Do not, I repeat, do not collage about it.
Overboard: The ending to this '80s classic movie is pure romantic indulgence. Two attractive actors (who are in love in real life!), fling themselves off their respective sea crafts and swim towards each other, so swept away are they by their need to be together. But let's take a step back and remember that while Goldie Hawn's pampered princess character had amnesia, Kurt Russell, in some sort of '80s homage to Taming Of The Shrew, duped her into thinking she was married to him. He revenge duped a brain damaged woman.