For hopelessly romantic introverts such as myself, the dating world can be unkind and troublesome. Words don’t come out right, and romantic gestures are misinterpreted. Luckily, we have movies to give us scripted romantic scenarios. From John Cusack and his stereo to Tom Hank’s online connection with Meg Ryan, movies have offered us wonderful pick-up lines and possible dating situations.
Unfortunately, some movies are more practical than others. And some romantic movie moments should never be attempted by nonfictional individuals. So, in the spirit of camaraderie amongst hopeless romantics, I’ve created a list of some movie moments you shouldn’t attempt at home.
(Romantic scenes often double as final scenes. So, by nature, this post is full of spoiler alerts. Consider yourself warned.)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a wonderful movie with many clever lines to try on your date. The film’s romantic finale, though, probably shouldn’t be reproduced in real life. By the end of the scene, Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard are kissing in the rain and snuggling with a newly found cat. But, the cat has to be lost before it can be found. To orchestrate this admittedly romantic moment, Audrey Hepburn tosses her adorable feline from a taxi in the middle of a city during a rainstorm. While kissing in the rain should be on every romantic’s bucket list, animal cruelty should never be a by-product of infatuation. If Audrey Hepburn’s cat had run away (as perhaps it should have) then Audrey and her man-friend would have spent their romantic moment searching through crates and trashcans in a dark, wet alley. So, don’t try this moment at home unless your cat is a stuffed animal. Or imaginary.
Grease is full of semi-romantic scenes that are only possible in the leather-filled, fictional world of Rydell High. Amidst awkward drive-in flirting and dances on carnival rides, Grease doesn’t offer much practical dating advice. But there is one scene that should be particularly avoided in real life, and it’s not the film’s absurd flying-car ending. Ladies and gentlemen, don’t date drag racers. Even if they’re competing against age-old rivals or defending the honor of a bro, drag racing is a sport that is better left to Kenickie and the wonderfully dense characters of The Fast and the Furious (2001). Though I have never participated, I imagine drag racing in concrete ditches is less romantic than it may initially seem. Sure, drag racing offers whiplash and the intoxicating smell of fuel, but a true racer learns to turn. If Danny Zuko had stopped cheating on Sandy with Greased Lightning, Danny and Sandy could have ridden away in their flying car much earlier.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Secret flirtations can be delightful. Filled with passionate whispers and subtle glances, such relationships can jump-start the heart of even the most cynical bachelor or bachelorette. Couples enticed by secrecy, however, must be willing to commit to the role. The whole appeal of clandestine relationships is the thrill of confidentiality (and perhaps love of one’s partner), and PDA is an easy way to unveil a once-classified hook-up. And, as seen in the secret relationship between Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman, these situations are further complicated when authority figures forbid such relationships. So, if you are going to yield to the temptations of secret love, remember that PDA is, indeed, public. If you can see others while you’re snogging near the red satin curtains of an old stage, the confused and oddly entertained audience in the theater can probably see you.
If you manage to find someone who makes your heart flutter and who can match wits with you in a game of flirtatious small talk, get his or her contact information. Serendipity is perhaps one of the most emotionally frustrating romantic comedies of the past couple decades. John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale meet, spend an adorable few moments together, and then, for some awful reason, decide to leave their future in the hands of fate. After the movie’s initial scenes, viewer have to sit through an irritating hour of wrong decisions and missed opportunities. Though the ending is happy, no last-minute romantic embrace can fully justify the emotional angst of handing possible love over to fate like giving a baby to a hooded figure sporting some hate tattoos at a low-budget daycare. Again, if you’ve managed to find someone worth seeing again, get some contact information. Phone number. E-mail address. Or enough random information to enable successful Facebook stalking. Get something.