Isn’t It Romantic

(Sparkle Plan Update: Yes, I am still on my Sparkle Plan. But I thought I would take a month off from talking about it. All is still well – I’m starting to do run/walk intervals and getting back into lifting weights. Stay tuned for a bigger update in September.)

Spoilers ahead – you’ve been warned.

I consider myself a romantic.

I write romance novels. I love happy endings and riding off into the sunset and candlelit dinners and long walks on the beach, and flowers, and getting dressed up to go out on a date. Which reminds me, I have these new, totally cute pants that would be great for a date. But I digress.

You know what else I like? Movies.

But recently, I realized that none of my favorite movies are romantic movies. My two favorite movies oscillate between The Empire Strikes Back and Office Space. Both have some hints of romance, but neither can be considered A romance. Furthermore, the usual “romcom” staples don’t tend to make my heart go flutter-flutter.

Pretty Woman

Laughing like a loon….

For example, I would never consider Pretty Woman a romance because I’ve never been able to get over the fact that, oh, I don’t know, she’s a HOOKER! Sure, it’s all romantic and swell when a super-rich guy can whisk you off on a private plane to see an opera after he put a glamorous and expensive necklace around your neck and you laughed like a loon. But you’re still a hooker.

Are my standards too high?

Then there’s Legally Blonde. One of those movies I’ll always watch when it comes on TV. Is it a romance though? There IS a romance but besides knowing Elle and Emmett get together in the end, they never kiss or go on a date. Besides, the scene that really gets me going is when Elle totally wins the argument over former-love Warner in class. Then Professor Callahan says, “I believe you’ve just won your case.” Yes! #winning

You bet I won my case! Plus, my resume is pink and scented!

You bet I won my case! Plus, my resume is pink and scented!

Frustrated, I Googled “romantic” movies. Here’s my thoughts on some of the Internet’s choices for most romantic film (in no particular order). Mind you, I’m not saying these aren’t good movies, just that they aren’t romantic in my eyes.

Titanic – everyone dies and really cold water.

The Notebook – old people, death and Alzheimer’s.

Ghost – he’s, um, A GHOST! Can never have a happy ending unless she also dies.

Romeo & Juliet – are you freaking kidding me? Double death!

West Side Story – see above, same movie as R&J but with singing and dancing.

Dirty Dancing – we don’t know what happens *after*the summer and abortion. And if Baby gives up her Peace Corps dreams that’s just lame.

Gone with the Wind – Dude, come on. Awesome flick, unhappy ending.

Casablanca – um, they don’t end up together! Also, Nazis scare me!

Grease – have to become a slut to find true love.

I will confess to enjoying and being quite smitten by a lot of scenes within the above movies. So really, maybe my problem is the endings? Because in romance writing, we have to conclude with a happily ever after or at least, happy for now. Kerri Carpenter

All of this pondering leads me to the real question. Am I *not* a romantic after all? You be the judge. In the meantime, PLEASE leave some romantic movie options for me in the comments below.


25 thoughts on “Isn’t It Romantic

      1. OMG Masha – I totally laughed at your comment. Also, I despise the English Patient and one of my best friends gets sooooo mad at me about it!!!

  1. French Kiss, funny and romantic…IMO At first the female lead is SUPER lame, but she comes around 🙂

    1. Thanks Tara! You know, I’ve never seen French Kiss. I’ll totally check it out. 😉

    1. Thanks Lynne! I LOVEEEEE Emma/Clueless!!! And my mom and I used to watch American President every single time I went home to visit. 😉

  2. The Bridges of Madison County. I cry every time. I mean every single freaking time. I think the most gut wrenching romance is the romance that can never truly be. It breaks your heart in all the good and bad ways. It’s devastatingly romantic.

    1. You know, I’ve never seen that movie. It’s going in the queue. Thanks Aimee!

  3. So, yeah, total pet peeve of mine is to get invested in a story and then find out one of the lovers dies. Sorry, but that is not romantic! What about Say Anything? Sweet Home Alabama? 10 Things I Hate About You? Pride and Prejudice?

    1. Confession: I put the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice on every Sunday while I’m cooking. 😉

  4. Okay, I recently learned that most of the movies you loathe are called “love stories” because no happy ending guaranteed. I adore a good heart-wrenching love story, but won’t watch movies like The Notebook, that’s just too much death and dying. But some of my favorite romance movies:), I’m going to go old school…The Abyss, The Apartment, When Harry Met Sally, Notting Hill, Sleepless in Seattle…le sigh…Supernatural, oh, sorry, that’s just my imagination, thinking about Dean Winchester and Denny…D&D…:)

    1. Dean & Denny – I love it! The Notebook is one of the only books I’ve read where I cried. Like snot running down the face kind of crying!

  5. I tend to think of romance and love as two separate things. One can exist without the other. Some of the most romantic movies are not about love fulfilled, but love unrequited. Yearning makes for great romantic story lines, but it does not always end happily. Doesn’t make it any less romantic.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Gay! I agree. I think in writing this post I realized that some of my favorite “romances” might not have a happy ending, but still good all the same.

  6. All very good points, Kerri. I like the cutesy movies for romances. I adore the ending in NEVER BEEN KISSED when he kisses her on the field for the first time. BTW, I’m going to go with Nora during her chat at Nationals when she talked about making up a new ending for GWTW. She said you know Rhett got a couple blocks and then changed his mind. That’s my ending. Has been since I was a kid and saw it for the first time with my grandmother. lol.

    1. I LOVE Never Been Kissed – so sweet!!! I was just thinking of Nora saying that about Rhett. I totally agree. I mean, I’ve seen Scarlet, the “sequel” but I still think he comes back. 😉

  7. Me! Me! I’ve got some: YOU’VE GOT MAIL, MUSIC & LYRICS, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (the Kenneth Branagh one, *sigh*). Sixteen Candles, if you want a teen-vibe romance with an actual kiss at the end. Good for you, Kerri, live that picky life and find the movies YOU like!

  8. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Put like only you could put it. And that’s why you’re MY hero.
    And also, This Means War is a great romantic movie, in my silly opinion. 🙂 Awesome, hilarious post as usual Miss Mermaid.

  9. I know this is probably NOT considered a romance but I love Tom Cruize in the Last Samurai and he *spoiler alert*** goes back to her at the end.

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