It was almost 20 years ago that James Cameron hurled Titanic at us in an orgy of special effects, icy water and doomed, class-defying relationships. Despite the fact that heroine Rose made zero effort to save Jack, the supposed love of her life (that door was plenty big enough, Rose!), the world continues to remember the movie very fondly. So fondly, in fact, that it's forgotten that the vast majority of romantic movies made that year were almost as much of a disaster as that massive boat splitting in two.
Let's take a trip down memory lane and remember the horror show that was cinematic romance in 1997.
First up, there's Picture Perfect, a film in which Kate, a very talented, capable advertising exec, cannot get promoted at her firm because she is single. (Let's pause for a moment and think about the fact that, in 1997, this seemed like a perfectly reasonable premise for a film.) Instead of suing her employer for discrimination (that thought doesn't even wander into the picture once, funnily enough!), Kate makes up a fake fiancé, thereby instantly winning a promotion. (Seriously... were there, like, zero lawyers in 1997? How is nobody getting sued here?)
All of this fake boyfriend stuff should technically lead to hijinks and humor, but actually just drags the viewer through an interminable hour and 45 minutes of absolute dross. Not even the glossy locks and Friends-era charm of Jennifer Aniston could save this one, because it's the kind of film that has a plot device involving a man giving a woman a black eye (one-liners ensue!). It's the kind of film in which, at one point, an ad executive approaches Kate with the idea of selling mustard by using a naked model and the tag line "Spread this." It's the kind of film where the grand finale is the heroine wrecking someone else's wedding and acting like it's romantic. The most amazing thing about Picture Perfect is its own ability to be so boring and preposterous at the same time.