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5 Movie Romances That Won't Last (According to Science)

Love stories are a lot like Doritos: there are countless variations, each dressed up differently with new names, but we all know it's the same two goddamn flavors every time. The common threads running through all movie romances are: love conquers all (Nacho Cheese) or love is blind (Cool Ranch), and sometimes both at the same time. It works because we let it work, and keep coming back for more despite how absurd it gets.

But if we take a moment to refuse the suspension of disbelief, and explore the implausible nature of a few famous love stories, we can call shenanigans now and possibly prevent the release of X-13D: A Romantic Comedy in the near future.

#5.
Original Star Wars Trilogy: Leia and Han Solo

Why it Will Never Work:

Han's Looming Unemployment and Deteriorating Self Worth.

Han and Leia overcome checkered pasts, experimentation with incest and a general distaste for one another to form a love so powerful it couldn't all be included in the final cut of The Return of the Jedi. Also on the cutting room floor: the 4am fights, alcoholism and murder suicide that inevitably follow.

We totally understand that the "Princess and the Bad Boy" element is what was supposed to make us swoon--half of Hollywood romances are based on that. So let's say that they can overcome the distance caused by differences in socioeconomic status ( which psychologists tell us is no small barrier). But that can't bring Han and Leia down, they were united by the cause of the galactic rebellion! She respects him as a brave and passionate fighter for all that she believes in, and is entitled to!

Ah, about that. See, the war kind of ends when the second Death Star blew up. These two had never met before the war--literally every single activity and conversation they've shared has revolved around it. They don't know each other in any other context (this sort of thing is one reason why marriages hurriedly rushed into during wartime don't last as evidenced by divorce rates going up after ever major war since divorce was invented). Soldiers don't always adjust well to not being soldiers.

But that actually leads to another problem. What is Han's job when there isn't a war on? He's a smuggler, a guy with a shitty car who owes money on every planet and always shoots first in a fight.


And according to this picture, with his dick.

Of course, he was smuggling things past the evil Empire, which no longer exists. So does he go back to that job, only now smuggling things that the new government doesn't approve of? Space-crack and child slaves? How will the royal princess feel about that? What's the alternative, she gets him a job as a diplomat? Yeah, we can totally see that working out.

So either Han is unemployed (and the effects of unemployment on a marriage are devastating). Or, maybe he becomes the legal version of a smuggler. That is, a highway trucker. No matter how you slice it, the skills that made him the coolest man in the galaxy don't exactly translate to a 9-to-5 job.

Compound Han's deteriorating self worth with Leia's royal sense of entitlement and it's impossible that this love connection ends in anything other than spousal abuse.

#4.
The Little Mermaid: Eric and Ariel

Why it Will Never Work:

Unrealistic Compromise.

Nobody takes a more blatant approach to proving love is blind than Disney. Their insistence on interspecies relationships boarders on obsessive, and The Little Mermaid was the first of these fetish-films. The basic plot revolves around Ariel giving up her life, her voice and a healthy chunk of her anatomy to be with Eric. Meanwhile, he is faced with the arguably less complex dilemma of choosing between a brunette and a redhead.


I like dark girls but the redhead doesn't speak. So...

If that sounds like a bad deal, it's more than that--in the world of relationship counseling they call that kind of compromise a "Marriage Annihilator." Or at least they should. Bad, one-sided compromises are one of the biggest reasons for failed marriages and relationships. Ask anybody you know who gave up a job for a relationship, and you will hear the phrase, "Well I certainly didn't move across the country for THIS!" echo back from the hallow place where their capacity to love used to be.

Sure, by the end of the film Eric and Ariel end up together, married as humans, and presumably happy. But even for a cartoon, that shoddy closure is too ludicrous to ignore. Ariel is a teenager, and, as she proves throughout the rest of the film, susceptible to the same impulsive stupid decisions as any non-Mermaid teenager.

She literally gives up everything she's ever known to be with someone who can't decide between her and another girl he just met. This isn't just compromise, it's identity annihilation--total surrender to do Whatever It Takes To Get The Guy. And one day she'll grow up enough to realize it. This relationship is doomed to end with Ariel either feeling resentful and homesick, or physically sick when she discovers sex is more than just releasing a sack of eggs for him to crop-dust with semen.


Man, all she'd have to do is catch you masturbating.

#3.
Star Trek: Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana)

Why it Will Never Work:

Emotional Unavailability.

In the new Star Trek reality created by J.J. Abrams, Spock and Uhura are copulation partners (that's the proper Vulvan term, right?) proving that Spock, like his father, has a weakness for human flesh.

As a human, Uhura experiences every situation, determines how it affects her and reacts based on the emotions it elicits. But Spock, true to his Vulcan nature, displays the classic symptoms of emotional unavailability. It's bred into him that Vulcans pride themselves on squelching any emotional displays in favor of cold, calculating logic. Those are awesome traits for troubleshooting a starship's warp coil, but not so much for making a female human feel loved.

We humans are pretty much programmed this way from birth, as scientists recently figured out with this terrifying experiment where they observed the effects of staring coldly at a baby:

So it's no surprise that emotional unavailability leads to disengagement from the relationship. Uhura would only put up with Spock's post-sex, "You continue to perform admirably" so many times before she would walk out. Unless she demands he utterly and completely change his personality, which of course brings us right back around to that compromise thing we just talked about with the mermaid. He would simply no longer be Spock.

Assuming they are together long enough to have a child, it can look forward to a distant father and a frustrated mother. The only silver lining is the kid will never be bullied in the inverted breasts of knowledge on Vulcan since the planet no longer exists.


Have to remember to send this guy a fruit basket.

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