There's something truly captivating about the reigning queens of romance. Julia, Sandra, Meg and Renee. Not only are they Hollywood's most beautiful, celebrated and highest-paid talents, but their on-screen performances have the uncanny ability to make us believe in fairytale endings and true love. And they do it so convincingly with their trademark "love is eternal" face combined with over-the-top one-liners that probably took seventeen scriptwriters to write. "I'm just a girl standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her"; "I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special;" and my personal favourite "you had me at hello." I don't know how they do it but at the end of the day, these leading ladies always seem to get their guy.
The leading lady in a romantic comedy was designed to give us hope. We relate to her and the situations that she finds herself in. How many times have you found yourself saying "Oh my
gawd! That is like, so totally me right now!!!" It takes a special kind of actress to successfully convey the emotions and ideals of true love from the silver screen and into our hearts. Together with the help of directors, dialogue and cinematic conventions such as Kenny G montage sequences, Hollywood starlets have managed to perpetuate the idea that knights in shining armour do exist both on and off screen.
"So where the hell is he then?" Sharna, a successful sales executive at a leading hotel chain was fed up with all the relationship drama and none of the cine-magic. She was about to turn thirty-five and was way beyond ready to settle down with that special someone. You know, the guy destined to "complete" her. She resented the romantic comedy for putting these false ideas and unrealistic expectations into our heads. "Have you ever heard a fucking violin play whenever you kiss someone? I mean seriously?" She was convinced that Prince Charming was just another myth created by Hollywood executives in order to keep single women single and make them feel better about their sad and lonely existence. "I'm single and probably always will be! I've resigned to the fact that Mr. Right has either fallen off his horse, gotten lost or found a younger, needier damsel in distress."
Was Sharna right? Are some of us just natural born spinsters? It's not that hard to believe considering that the odds are never in our favour. We are after all living in a city of where women outnumber men eight to one. Did Hollywood endings only exist on the pages of poorly written scripts and predictable plot-lines of heart tugging fiction?
Just as I was about to give in to this depressing conclusion, I met a wonderful woman by the name of Debbie. Debbie was fifty years young and had been single for most of her adult life. She had never been married and was the proud mother of two beautiful Great Danes. She lived life as if there was no tomorrow, drank wine constantly and ate chocolate every other day. She had only recently started dating the man of her dreams, a Puerto Rican man who had been her neighbour for nearly twenty-five years. After all that time being happily single, love was staring at her right across the fence. No soft lighting, no orchestra. Just two consenting adults learning to love each other for the first time.
Life is not a movie. It's a continuous blockbuster with a number of twists and turns that usually happen when you least expect it. The girl next door always gets the guy at the end of the movie and sometimes it takes a little longer to find the perfect leading man. Instead of sitting around blaming romantic comedies for our own shortcomings, see them for what they really are. We cannot rely on movies to dictate an idealistic future especially since Ms. Roberts is only an actress standing in front of camera pushing for an Oscar.
When it comes to finding true love, does it take more than fifty first dates to find our very own happy ending?