While most girls my age grew up idolizing the classic Disney princesses like Belle, Cinderella, and Ariel, I grew up idolizing Molly Ringwald. Instead of watching all the Disney cartoons like the rest of the girls my age, I would sit down with my mom and watch all the classic 80s flicks, most of which included red frizzy hair and leg warmers, and all of which included Molly scoring the guy at the end. So naturally I developed the idea that someday, I too would find my prince.
I assumed that one day, like in every movie, I would go off to college, find a quirky best friend, fall for a guy who had no idea I existed, and in some crazy turn of events, he would finally notice me. Then one day I would find him standing outside my room in the pouring rain holding a stereo over his head and declaring his love for me. Well… I didn’t exactly think that, but something close.
Turns out, life isn’t as simple as a John Hughes’ flick.
Prince Charming no longer shows up on your doorstep with a bouquet of flowers waiting to whisk you away. Now I can’t say for sure if chivalry is dead, but it is definitely playing a competitive game of hide-and-go-seek. Most women now have to sift through piles of jerks, duds, and just plain frogs before they are ever able to find prince charming, or at least something close to it.
But instead of crying about it, women have taken to laughing at this dilemma. In popular movies like Sex and the City and He’s Just Not That Into You, the women portrayed in the movies flip the switch, and instead of pitying these women for their dating faux pas, we laugh with them at the practical joke that is dating.
The recent summer blockbuster, Bridesmaids follows the hilarious journey of a woman who is confronted with her perpetual singledom when she is appointed maid of honor in her best friend’s wedding. Marketed as the “Female Hangover,” Bridesmaids is a hilarious, unique twist on the classic romantic comedy, and in many ways it is the most truthful story on romance that I have seen in a long time.
The main character, Annie, played by the comedic Kristen Wiig is caught in a going-nowhere relationship with the Horny Toad, Ted, played by Jon Hamm. In a hilarious, and simultaneously horrifying scene, Ted and Annie are in bed together when Ted leans over and says, “Wow, this is embarrassing. I really want you to leave but I don’t know how to say it without sounding like a dick.” The entire audience burst out laughing, not only because his request was so crudely honest, but because we’ve secretly all known guys exactly like Ted.
It’s this precise honesty that is drawing in such a huge audience to these films. Women are no longer interested in the fantastical lies spun by the typical romantic comedies, because that isn’t real life. The average woman doesn’t have men like John Cusack romantically declaring his love for them in the rain. They have frogs… like Ted.