Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Can't we get any better conflicted romantic couples in pop culture land?

With Valentine's Day weekend on the horizon,you'd think there would a good number of romantic themed flicks arriving at your nearest multiplex on Friday. However,the only new option out there is Just Go With It,starring Adam Sandler as a dentist who pretends to be unhappily married in order to score with the ladies.

When Sandler finally meets a woman who actually finds the notion of dating a married man repulsive(and she happens to be outrageously beautiful as well),he then switches gears and convinces his work assistant(Jennifer Aniston)to stand in as his soon-to-be ex-wife.

More hijinks ensue,as a pair of fake kids are added in and no doubt Sandler and Aniston will wind up together by the end credits. Is it just me or is this a lame concept? While I know that romantic relationships on screen are meant to have some kind of conflict so that the story can stretch out for at least an hour and a half,this sounds so stupid and sleazy.

The adult antics on display here makes the animated Gnomeo and Juliet(also due out this weekend)look like a bastion of maturity. I'm sorry but this is one romcom outing that I refuse to go along with:

Whether it's a comedy,drama or action fantasy,any couple drawn together by love should have a pretty reasonable,not to mention creative,reason that these two are not able to become one. My standards may be high but there are great examples of conflicted lovers on film that have raised more than one bar in this genre.

To start with,Rhett and Scarlett from Gone With The Wind are truly two of a kind but something always manages to get in their way-husbands,mourning periods,the Civil War.

What really keeps the two of them apart is Scarlett's insistence on loving Ashley,a man who she thinks makes her a better person for wanting to be with. Equally,Rhett believes that his persistence will win over Scarlett's obsession with Ashley. Their mutual delusions ultimately end to a bittersweet lesson learned;you don't know what you've got until it's gone:

Joe and Kathleen in You've Got Mail are in a very modern take on the meet-cute,as the two of them are rival bookstore owners who happen to be each other's anonymous e-mail pen pal.

Their outward mutual dislike is altered when Joe realizes who Kathleen really is and tries to alienate her at first,yet can't completely pull away from their deeper connection. After Kathleen loses her business,Joe attempts to pursue a friendship that could lead to more. While they do try to stay civil,the tension of their work related rivalry and what Joe knows brings their otherwise compatibility into the realm of pride vs. prejudice problems:

Now,Catwoman and Batman,particularly in Batman Returns,appear to be an ideal couple. They do share a lot of common interests-impersonating power animals,street fighting,tight outfits.

If only Catwoman decided to cross over to the good guy side,she and the caped crusader could live happily ever after in Gotham City,some would say. However,the very nature of a cat is independence and Selina wants what most people,male or female,want from their significant other;to be loved for who she is rather than who anyone else wants her to be:

Speaking of being loved for who you are,Holden and Alyssa from Chasing Amy have a major difference between them that does realistically holds them back from being lovers,namely Alyssa's preference for same sex partners.

They do decide to settle for being in the friend zone but after awhile,Holden is not satisfied with that and states his case for love to her.

Even when they do choose to give their love a go,Holden's emotional insecurities find a way to drive a wedge into more than one of his personal relationships. Despite the passion of his convictions,Holden is his own worst enemy when it comes to matters of the heart:

Love is a tricky thing,whatever realm of reality it's in,and no couple is truly perfect. However,when it comes to a fictional format,conflict between a romantic duo should have some kind of sensible rhythm to the frustration. They don't have to sing and dance in two part harmony about their situation but giving their audience credit for intelligence along with sentiment is an attractive quality to have:

1 comment:

Ladytink_534 said...

I haven't actually seen a good romantic comedy in years! I'm getting a little tired of all of them having a slapstick angle to them lately too.

That's one of the few scenes from Buffy where I actually like Xander though I think it's more of the actor than the character. I really, really don't like his character.