Your $#@%ty relationship as explained by $#@%ty romantic comedies and how to end it

If by any chance this Valentine’s week you find yourself in a perfectly enjoyable relationship with another human being or two, and all things so far range somewhere between “enjoyably tolerable” and “freaking rainbows, man,” then feel free to completely ignore everything here.

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

If though, you ARE in a relationship that you suspect has been on the rocks for some time (or just happen to be a single sociopath who enjoys the snickering at unhappy couples as a welcome break from putting up with the annoyingly happy ones), then by all means read on.

I may not be the expert on the whole “relationship” thing. But what I do have is an almost encyclopedic knowledge of terrible romantic comedies and the free time to dissect them thoroughly, which in hindsight might explain a lot more than I’m comfortable admitting.

So with that being said, if your relationship lacks that and even hints at rambling any of the following films, consider this your early warning system. It’ll get worse before it gets MUCH worse.


Hypothetical scenario #1: “He’s perfect! He’s charming! He lives with his parents. Which is kinda odd for a guy in his late 20s. And would be maybe a little less odd if he wasn’t so damn insistent upon not showing any incentive. But he has potential! And it’s not like he’s not worth investing time, energy and heartache into. This will work out somehow like it always does right?”

Well cool your jets there and congratulate yourself for stumbling into the plot of….


“Failure To Launch”(2006)


The movie solution: Sarah Jessica Parker finds out that deep down, Matthew McConaughey isn’t an emotionally unavailable loser who’s draining her time and energy out of an interest in constantly having a babysitter so he doesn’t have to take responsibility for his own damn life.

No! It turns out he’s actually emotionally devastated because of his fiance’s untimely passing thanks to a freak accident that for some reason she just found out about! This means that he’s still a great guy with nothing to fix. Turns out she was the one in need of fixing all along. They presumably marry and live happily every after, continuing the cycle of mooching off of Matthew’s parents.


Your solution: Seriously, go back up there and read that bloc of what the fuckery and ask yourself what the odds are that a loser who refuses to get a job, have any interests or have anything special about him besides being available has a conveniently packaged excuse like that?

Even HE’d be surprised that you fell for it and being constantly surprised by obvious things is kinda his shtick. The best part about this prospect is that leaving is a simple matter of unfriending him on Facebook. The odds you run into him in the real world are, again, quite slim.



Hypothetical scenario #2: “Oh man, she’s the best! She has a smile that lights up the world, a song in her heart that makes bluebirds sing and yes she’s also currently @#$%ing me. All is awesome in my world!

‘Cept of course, I get the feeling I don’t really know who she is…which is a weird thing to say for someone you’ve been dating for a few months now. Can’t remember if she’s said a word about her family or interests or anything that would make her resemble a plausible human being. But then, you know, she’s @#$%ing me and all sooo…maybe this is working?”

I think not, good sir! Reassess your priorities and the said sack you’ve become, for aside from the tried manic-pixie-dream-girl archetype, you’ve also fallen for…


“(500) Days Of Summer”(2009)


The movie solution: Near as I can tell, Joseph Gordon-Levitt realizes that outside of being an impossibly good looking man, he has little going for him and deep down hasn’t a clue what true love is. Rather, he simply falls for the first vaguely artsy girl who appreciates his quiet brooding.

Zooey Deschanel realizes she’s a terrible one-note actress. And, in the case of the movie, also an awful person. The plot works itself out nicely by Joseph finding some new wide-eyed pixie to take Zooey’s spot, while Zooey finds some poor schmuck to marry her. No one learns anything and box office records are smashed that year.


Your solution: Good news and bad news: Good news is that, in the real world, a couple like that would totally end up getting married. The bad news is that it would ultimately end either by falling into a bitter, loveless marriage or a bitter, hateful divorce.

If you’re the Joseph in this equation here, maybe give this true love thing a break for a bit; there’s nothing wrong with flings and calling them just that. Work on you and maybe don’t feel the need to fill your life with an impossible, fantasy caricature. If you’re the Zooey in question, try not flirting with guys when you’re engaged. Seems simple enough.



Hypothetical scenario #3: “No problems on my front, man! I’ve got a great girl! Well more of a prospect really…see, I got this weird idea that true love is totally my thing! But only right after I screw my way through a bunch of other prospects. See, it’s all right for me cause I knew they weren’t the one. Not like my girl! You know, as long as she hasn’t @#$%ed her way through a lot of guys, because that’s different somehow.”

Well poor news, sir! You now share a similar disposition (with none of the baffling financial success) of Dane Cook in…


Good Luck Chuck”(2007)


The movie solution: Turns out, the reason Dane Cook seeks mindless sex with other people but will not have sex with Jessica Alba, ISN’T because he’s got a crippling case of double standards coming out of his ass. It’s because he was cursed by a goth girl years ago to ensure that he’d never find true love. Except he does somehow succeed by finding true love. Yeah, it’s a stupid movie.


Your solution: There’s still is a silver lining for you. 1) You’re not Dane Cook, and 2) You can still do the right thing, break things off with her and try to learn to treat women as people rather than simply either sluts or virgins, mmkay?

If you’re the Jessica Alba in question, sure your ego may be affixed now that he’s ensuring you that none of those other girls mattered, and you might even enjoy hearing him rip into all those former flames. But think for a minute what he would start to call you behind your back as soon as you’ve stopped dating. He’s all but admitting he’s an asshole right out of the gate, banking on you having blinders on.



Hypothetical scenario #4: “Well, it’s not really a romance problem per say. See, I hatched this little tax evasion scam with a friend of mine and it went a little like, ‘Hey! What if we pretend to be gay and got married!'”

Haha. Oh, you awful awful human being, you. If you find yourself in this particular scenario, take comfort in knowing that what was made available for repeat viewings in whatever you imagine hell would be in…



I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry”(2007)


The movie solution: Turning out to be straight the whole time, cashing in on a slew of awful jokes about gay people and avoiding taking the rap for any sort of charges of fraud by ripping off the ending of “Spartacus?” Just an easy weekend for Adam Sandler and Kevin-I’m-sorry-I’m-not-nearly-as-loveable-as-Chris-Farley-James.


Your solution: Really? I floated this one as a hypothetical, but if you’re even in the same zip code as this plot, stop existing. Right now. On the plus side, you’ll be no doubt pleased to know that in the far-flung future of 2014, not only is gay marriage now legal in 17 states and counting, but all sexualites alike are free to forget about “I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry.”



Hypothetical Scenario #5: “So I’m dating this girl, okay? And she’s awesome. Bright, funny, laughs at my jokes, all around great gal. ‘Cept the weirdest thing…she keeps laughing at the same joke, like every day. And she also acts like she’s never meet me, like every day. And she keeps forgetting my name, like every day and…”

Holy shit! Hold the phone! Are you seriously telling me you found yourself in the plot of…



50 First Dates”(2004)


The movie solution: Oh wow, we’re really doing thus, huh? Well in the movie it seems that the impossibly professional marine biologist Adam Sandler finds a way to make it work with Drew Barrymore’s selective brand of amnesia by…recording a tape of one day in her life and playing it back to her to start each and every morning so she can relive the horror of not only being unable to remember yesterday but also having to remember the fact that she’s married to Adam Sandler.


Your solution: Realize that there really is no way to come out of this remotely clean if you get involved, and that what Adam Sandler is doing is technically taking advantage of a person’s disability. Seriously, am I the only who finds this movie’s premise ridiculously disturbing? He marries the one girl who will never remember if he’s awful, and relocates her away from society thousands of miles away to live with him trapped on a boat. The soundtrack is nice, though.

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