The Portrayal of Sex and Relationships in Romantic Comedies
Romantic comedies have played an important role in the shaping of our attitudes towards relationships and sex. In a lot of ways they can be seen as our blueprints for how we go about finding love, as they often feature protagonists our own age, who are in similar circumstances to us. Here we are going to explore the messages these films are sending and how they shape our views of ourselves and our relationships.
Notions of Love
Romantic comedies often reinforce many of the traditional notions of love, such as:
- True love conquers all: Romantic comedies often follow the idea that true love can overcome any obstacle, no matter how large or small, and that any hardship or problem can be remedied by the power of love.
- It’s all about “The One”: These films tend to perpetuate the idea of having a single partner who is perfect for us and that any relationship with anyone else wouldn’t work. This perpetuates an unhealthy idea of romantic relationships, as it overlooks the idea that we may have compatible relationships with several different people.
- Women need to be rescued: Most romantic comedies feature a male lead who is the hero of the story and whose mission is to save the female lead from whatever plight they are in. This reinforces the idea that in order to find true love, a woman has to be saved and is thus dependent on a man.
Sex and Sexual Relationships
Romantic comedies often shy away from tackling sex or portraying it in a realistic way. When it is casually mentioned it’s usually with a negative connotation and often the female lead is portrayed as being ashamed or embarrassed about her sexuality. This reinforces the notion that sex is something to be ashamed of and that it should be kept secret.
Ultimately, romantic comedies often inadvertently send a message about sex and relationships which can be damaging for viewers. They reinforces traditional ideas of what love should be and downplay the importance of consent and healthy sexual relationships. It is important to be mindful of the messages these films send, as they can have implications on our own attitudes and beliefs.