Romance Movies Are My Torture Porn

The idea of romance, or people being romantic and open and honest with their feelings, makes me wildly, incredibly uncomfortable

Oct 20, 2011 at 5:00pm | Leave a comment

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I want to get something out of the way here: I love romantic comedies.

I like them whether they're good or bad or so unremarkable that I actually forget that I've seen them (Remember a little movie called "Boys and Girls"? Of course you don't!) Perhaps it's because I'm a masochist, and the idea of romance, or people being romantic and open and honest with their feelings, makes me wildly, incredibly uncomfortable. Like, pillow over my face uncomfortable. I will enthusiastically eat Spaghetti-Os while watching "Tenebrae" but I get genuinely nauseated by the "I think I love you" scene in "Four Weddings and Funeral."

The problem is that it's just too much sincerity -- I actually worry about the characters sounding stupid or getting rejected or being the subject of somebody's hilarious brunch conversation the next day. "He wrote you a song? What a nightmare." "Yes, I pepper sprayed him." "Of course you did! Pass the jam, bitch."

Or sometimes, it's just that I Don't Buy It and I end up feeling bad for the actors. You know, like watching one of those patchy furred circus bears ride a bicycle. That's what airport sprinting scenes are like for me. (A friend whose screenplay was made into a very funny romantic comedy included a beat that I love, in which the hero returns back from a dramatic sprint through an airport to find that his car has been towed. The scene was cut, and now it just weirds me out.)

Are you guys with me here? Doesn't Lloyd Dobler give you the same sick thrill as reading a Wikipedia page about a grisly murder? Even his name sounds like a serial killer's!

The actual list of "Romantic Movie Moments That Horrify Me" is way, way longer than this, but here are just a few that give me the motherfucking willies.

"Singles"
My sister has a huge, huge thing for Campbell Scott, but his lovesick pursuit of Kyra Sedgwick bordered on the Wahlbergian. When he shows up at her house and says, "I was just nowhere near your neighborhood," I hear the "Tubular Bells" theme from "The Exorcist."

"Amelie"
This whole movie makes me INSANELY UNCOMFORTABLE. Try to picture somebody having sex with Amelie. That burning smell is you having a stroke.

"The Notebook"
If I'm a bird you're a NOOOOOOOOOOOO.

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"Breakfast at Tiffany's"
I realize it is risky to go on record as a noted disliker of this movie in general, but throughout the whole thing I tend to shout, "HE IS GAY AND YOU ARE A HOOKER." Also bothersome to me: It's Tiffany. No apostrophe. Just like when my dad calls it "Panera's."

"You've Got Mail"
Pretty much any movie where Tom Hanks is a romantic lead is going to bother me, because he is America's Dad, but any scene in this one where he is tender with Meg Ryan makes me want to hide under a pile of clothes in a dark closet.

"Music and Lyrics"
THIS WHOLE THING. THE WHOLE THING. THE WHOLE MOVIE. Watching Hugh Grant kiss Drew Barrymore was like watching one of your friends have sex with one of your dad's friends. No please! No!

"Love Actually"
This towering juggernaut of Awkward and Implausible moments for me is better than "Hostel." I watch this every Thanksgiving with my sister and it's better than that thing where people put electrodes on their genitals as a form of sexual stimulation. It definitely peaks with the "To me you are perfect" placard, which should probably be shown to emotionally disenfranchised Guantanamo detainees.

If you need me, I'll be off wincing involuntarily.