I grew up watching A Cinderella Story, Mary Kate and Ashley go to Paris, and What a Girl Wants. Movies like these are what helped me shape a perception about life: conflict and immediate resolution. I grew up with the idea in my head that, as a girl, I was supposed to find a man to guide me and direct my future. If I encountered any sort of difficult situation, it would only last for the length of one angsty three minute, thirty-second song. At the end of every movie, everything would be simply resolved and fit together like a puzzle.
These stories gave me unrealistic expectations of life. Problems aren’t resolved as quickly as they are in movies; it’s more complicated than that. Growing up, I also learned something very important: there doesn’t have to be a man to “save me” from all of my problems. I’m perfectly capable of making decisions on my own. These movies also all ended in “happily ever afters” with Prince Charming. Because I had this idea installed in my head from an early age, I had to learn the hard way that “happily ever after” doesn’t need a Prince Charming. I also learned that having a Prince Charming doesn’t guarantee you a “happily ever after”.
Sure, love stories are cute. Don’t get me wrong; I still love to watch these movies. Nicolas Sparks’ The Notebook and The Last Song strike a cord in my heart and tear ducts every time I watch them. I absolutely believe in love and soul mates. I’ve just noticed lately how rarely things like that happen in real life. If you drop your cell phone, Chad Michael Murray isn’t going to search the school to find out whose it is. If you yell at Liam Hemsworth for spilling a milkshake on your shirt, he’s probably going to leave you alone instead of continuing to pester you until you fall in love with him. There are plot holes in almost every love story. When I’m watching a movie like this, I always hear a voice in my head at some point in the movie saying, “this would never happen”. Basically, my problem with these movies is that they blow everything out of proportion. I believe that there are perfect moments in life, as opposed to the perfect endings that are displayed in Hollywood’s movies.