RomComs and the Romanticization of Throwing Commitment To The Wind

I watched Resort To Love a few nights ago. It’s this new movie on Netflix, and since I was in the mood for some rom-com I decided to see what it was all about. I’d seen the trailer beforehand, classic rom-com with a twist, I guessed. And that was what it was. A classic romantic comedy with a nice twist, a twist I actually appreciated. Yes, there are spoilers ahead.

In the first few scenes we are introduced to the female lead whose name I cannot remember right now, but was played by the lovely Christina Milian. A young beautiful  female American singer with a career which seems to be on the rocks, and who is trying – and failing – to get over her ex-fiance. By the miraculous doings of the rom-com gods, she finds herself singing for guests and weddings at this luxurious hotel in Mauritius, which then happens to be – you guessed it –  the place her ex-fiance travels to marry his new fiancee. As I said earlier, it’s a classic rom-com, so there has to be a typical rom-com dilemma. I found the acting pretty decent, and Ms Milian’s voice lovely. The end however, was probably my favourite part of the movie. Why? Because the female lead and the ex-fiance did not get married at the end. He walked the aisle with his new fianceé, now wife.

Far too often we see a lot of spontaneity and disregard for honoring commitment in these type of movies. Sure, it makes for exciting viewing to see a woman or man leave a partner they’ve been committed to for a while to chase after an old fling or new shiny person, but I worry that people are subconsciously internalizing this narrative. Thing is, life imitates art, and art imitates life, so it is possible that people can begin to glamourize the spontaneity or thrill of throwing away a stable relationship for one which seems to be more exciting or nostalgic at the moment. This trend is one I fear to be dangerous and potentially damaging.
When you’re in a committed (romantic) relationship, there will always be people who appear shinier. There will always be someone prettier, someone smarter, someone hotter, someone from your past who may appear better. They may provide a thrill, but do they provide the stability that you enjoy and sometimes take for granted? It may be nostalgic, but was it actually better than what you have now, or are you just looking for something exciting? Does this new shiny person fit into the plans you have for your life, or do you actually see yourself practically in theirs? When you loosen the last bow and unwrap this attractive present, will you like what is within? Is the journey to find out that question even worth the risk?

When one settles into a routine with a partner things may get ‘boring’, or not providing the thrill it used to, which is normal. Many of us are creatures of habit ; we do the same things day in day out. One the excitement fades, and you get to the See Finish stage, things are predictable. Somehow these movies and other media have socialised us to think that it’s a bad thing when it’s really not. Once both parties don’t get complacent for too long, having a stable and reliable partner is a blessing, one which should not be thrown in the bin in the face of a potentially thrilling tryst.

Many people don’t value commitment these days, or are not ready to put in the work that it entails, or even think that they are incapable of it, or don’t think it even exists. Read a couple of “keep me anon” posts by these hot blogs asking for relationship advice, and you will notice it. What a shame, because I think commitment is a rather beautiful and valuable thing.

I was close to turning off the movie when the female lead and ex-fiance seemed to be reigniting the flames of their past few days to his wedding ( sigh, another typical storyline I guess, I thought) but as events unfolded and he chose the woman that fit more into his present and future, and didn’t ditch the alter to risk it all for the ex, I thought it wasn’t so typical after all.

By Ada & Her Tune.

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