5 Romantic Comedy Gestures That Would Get You Slapped
Everyone knows how romantic comedies are supposed to go: Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy does something stupid to win girl back and somehow she falls for it -- probably because of low self-esteem or the inability to recognize she's living within rom-com constraints.
Most romantic comedy plotlines are based on the meet-cute. "Oh, we bumped into each other and are soulmates?" "Oh, we both grabbed for the same pair of gloves, then we'll be idiots and not exchange numbers, but I'll put my number in a BOOK and MAYBE you'll find it if it was meant to be?" (I had two guy friends in high school who insisted we watch Serendipity multiple times.)
But many of the little cute things in rom-coms would be grounds for arrest, or at least a good slap.
(Romantic comedies aren't the only ones telling you lies: everything Cosmo told you about sex is bullshit. Buy the Cracked De-Textbook to learn more.)
Putting Flour/Paint/Anything on Someone's Face to Flirt
Who wants to get messy? That's just crazy. But for some reason, guys think it's cute to put flour or paint on your nose while doing a project together.
If white powder on your nose is all it takes to get your heart all aflutter, odds are he's tricked you into doing cocaine.
In the confusing and kind of porny (or is that just me?) romantic comedy Never Been Kissed, the student-teacher relationship reaches a new realm of "Well, this is kind of OK since she's 25, not 16, but also he thinks she's 16 and is definitely flirting with her and also why am I so turned on?"
For some reason, he playfully splatters paint on her face while they're painting a sunset, and she enjoyed it, probably because obviously anything any attractive dude does to you is charming and not weird. (This is how one time I allowed Joel McHale to grab my wrist to read my tattoo without getting angry. Plus I was at work.)
"If finding true love means accidentally blinding a few innocents along the way, so be it."
No one actually wants paint or flour on her face, and as far as technique goes, it's only slightly above "peeing on a thing to claim it as my own" on the spectrum of flirtation methods.
Tossing Her Into a Pool to Be 'Playful' and/or 'Sexy'
Similar to the ol' "paint on the nose" move is the "throw you or drag you into a pool with me" move. Usually when this happens, neither participant is appropriately dressed for swimming, and if all goes well, one or both is dressed for a fancy occasion. Because who doesn't love jumping into water in a taffeta gown?
In Miss Congeniality, Benjamin Bratt is swimming laps and Sandra Bullock comes by in one of her pageant gowns to have a chat. They start flirting, and he yanks her into the pool with him. Hard.
"Ha! You should have seen your face! Hey, I said- Hello?"
And she says, "Are you fucking kidding me? I'm not dressed for swimming right now and- No, shut up, listen to me. I am an adult woman. What if I'd had my cellphone in my pocket? And you did this, what, to impress me? To make me like you? You've drastically changed my whole day, now. I need to change, I need to do something with this expensive dress. I'm freezing. You are a complete child."
Just kidding, they fall in love.
Professing Your Long Obsession and Stalking
If there's one thing I'm supposed to find endearing based on rom-coms, it's someone being obsessed with me from afar to a creepy level.
In Can't Hardly Wait, Ethan Embry plays the apparently goofy but charming Preston, who is in love with total babe Amanda, played by Jennifer Love Hewitt. His entire life has been devoted to loving her ... without ever having spoken to her.
"Heh, this is so us!"
So then he's walking around this graduation party with a love letter he wrote for someone who has been dating jock asshole Mike Dexter (not to be confused with Astronaut Mike Dexter from 30 Rock) for four years and, again, SOMEONE HE HAS NEVER SPOKEN TO.
"Why is this sticking to my hand?"
But don't worry, she finds it all very charming. Because there's nothing I want more than some dude who is obsessed with me and has built me up in his mind as a minor deity and the answer to all his problems. (This is like 5th grade when Joey told Marcus to tell my best friend to tell me he had a doll he used to pretend was me and make his G.I. Joe kiss.)
I cut her off before she repeated anything involving a Kung-Fu Grip.
Grand Gestures of 'Love'
This is basically a requirement of any romantic comedy: The Grand Gesture of Love. It can be anything from running to stop someone at an airport, to some sort of public performance or display of affection to, yes, holding a boombox over your head.
Lloyd Dobler should be slapped or arrested. I'm sorry. I love him too and was charmed by him, but dude is a stalker and goes too far. Does the mere mention of "In Your Eyes" make me cry because of Lloyd? Of course! I'm not a robot! But if I'm actually Diane Court, I'm terrified. I'm running away. I'm mad at you for playing Peter Gabriel at full volume and standing silently in my lawn in a trenchcoat!
"Hey. Heeeey. This is the song we had sex to. Remember? In my car. Heeeeeey. Can I come upstairs?"
In 10 Things I Hate About You, to get Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger sings "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You," orchestrated with the marching band, to woo her. Because nothing says "intimacy" like a bunch of 16-year-old clarinet players watching and judging you with their cold, clarinet-loving eyes.
He was originally supposed to serenade her with "Back That Azz Up," but they couldn't afford the rights.
Interrupting a Wedding to Say You Love the Bride or Groom
The most offensive thing celebrated in rom-coms is the "interrupting a wedding ceremony." I mean, it's the climax of a movie with everyone's favorite "Ew, that's creepy" relationship: The Graduate.
Even if I was in love with someone else and desperately wanted to be with him, I'd be like, "Hey, can you wait like a month and I'll get this annulled? We already paid for everything, so it's just easier."
The crippling realization that you've just sat on hobo gum in a wedding dress.
This also happens at the end of the anti-Scottish travesty Made of Honor, where Patrick Dempsey, the ostensible inventor of the "coffee sleeve," finally realizes he's in love with his best friend and spends his whole time as "maid of honor" ridiculing Scottish culture and being the worst friend and human to the woman he supposedly loves. And after he interrupts her wedding and kisses her, he also tells her she looks terrible, because LOL she's wearing traditional Scottish stuff.
This dude needs a restraining order and to not be allowed to get married to the woman of his dreams.
"You're selfish, clingy, and racist? Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!"
The subcategory of this, of course, is "interrupting a wedding when neither you nor the person you love is the bride or groom."
Did you get that?
In Picture Perfect, when Jennifer Aniston finally tries to win back wedding videographer Jay Mohr while he is filming a wedding, the bride and groom are apparently very happy that the couple has patched things up. Where any sane person should think, "Hey, we're paying you to film the most magical day of OUR lives -- can you SHUT UP?"
Everyone's a jerk and everyone's terrible.