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Oh, get married already.

September 12, 2012

I have an excuse for being MIA the past little while. Ok, the past two weeks. I was actually on vacation. Like, a for-reals vacation. Like, no work got done. Like, went out into the wilds where the interwebs, and even cell phone service, couldn’t find me.

It was lovely. And, hence, no blogging from me.

Anyhoo. During my day-long travel back from said vacation (I’m still working on the jet-lag hangover), I made the unfortunate decision to watch The Five-Year Engagement. Now, I’m not one for rom-coms, but I thought it might be funny.

It was a little funny. Kind of. It was also looooooong. And, aside from overstaying its welcome on my personal TV screen, it got my panties in a bit of a bunch.

I knew things weren’t going well when, at an engagement party, the sister of the bride goes on about how she “doesn’t believe in the institute of marriage” but can’t really get through her speech because she’s bawling her eyes out. BECAUSE CAH-LEARLY SHE ACTUALLY ONLY CLAIMS THAT SHIT BECAUSE SHE ISN’T THE ONE GETTING MARRIED.

Wow. Obvious much? And who, really, is surprised when she hooks up with the loser BFF of the groom THAT NIGHT? And then falls in to a baby/marriage with him? I mean, shit. Even the angry chef-boss-lady who goes on about how stupid commitment is has a super-hot GF, and is therefore no longer angry, by the end of this flick (when it finally arrives).

Is there anything that pays more homage to the institute of marriage than the romantic comedy? Anything that doesn’t do more to hold up arguments against the institution of marriage, and call them false? Any vehicle we have that doesn’t try harder to make us believe the only path to real happiness is through finding The One and getting goddamn hitched?

Moreover, this one is so blatantly Marriage-Oriented, it even attempts to avoid the typical OMG We’re Soul Mates! mantra of all other chick flicks – by specifically trying to argue that marriage should Just Happen, and we don’t actually need to find The One. As the sister who-says-she-doesn’t-believe-in-the-institution-of-marriage-and-is-then-married puts so well (while pretending to be Elmo, no less):

“MAYBE it’s not about finding the best cookie. MAYBE it’s about just picking a cookie and taking a bite!”

What if you don’t like cookies? What if you want to eat lots and lots of cookies? What if you’d rather have steak?

Of course, in the end, this movie pulls a fast one – as in, they really WERE soul mates! Ha ha ha! Gotcha!


In addition to all that jiz, is it any wonder the LGBTQ+ community wants to have marriage equality? In a culture that spawns this bullshit all. the. time., is it really that hard to understand why they aren’t going to buy the whole “sorry, you can’t have marriage – but here’s a civil union!” thing? And it’s not just pop culture. From rom-coms to religion, we hold up marriage on this fucking pedestal – and then we pretend we don’t understand how degrading and painful it is to deny that to someone. We act like it’s the epitome of romantic relationships, that it IS one of THE Life Goals, and then we make it inaccessible. Is it any wonder this is a focus of LGBTQ+ advocacy?

Of course, clearly I am just sick of marriage on a pedestal, period. And don’t even get me started on how this lil movie made HER move to pursue HER career the undoing of the relationship. That, my good friends, is a whole ‘nother post.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 12, 2012 9:52 am

    “What if you don’t like cookies? What if you’d rather have steak?”—I can’t believe you said that about cookies! Oh…you didn’t mean real cookies. Carry on.

    • September 12, 2012 1:17 pm

      OH GAWD not real cookies! That’s a no-brainer! 😀

  2. September 12, 2012 2:28 pm

    Weeell I have to say that I am sometimes guilty of watching rom-coms and enjoying them… if they are actually funny. I started watching “The five year engagement” just last week and did not finish it because it was bloody boring (where was the sarcasm?? Sigh…) … and pretty damn stupid.

    The whole sister of the bride nonsense did it for me… bla bla bla “oh I am knocked up cos I am stupid and now I will marry the douche because that is what you do…?” I mean, is this 1855? You have a kid (if you decide to keep it) and raise it either your own or godforbid with the guy without getting married. I turned it off after the wedding ceremony.

    and can I say again… It was not even funny!!

    • September 13, 2012 5:38 pm

      I can’t get through a rom-com. I spend to much time getting pissed off. I actually though this one would be different. NOPE.

      And, yeah, I just looovveee how rom-coms are completely selling the whole “whoops had unprotected sex with a stranger and got preggers AND LOOK HOW AWESOME IT TURNED OUT” thing. ALSO ANNOYING and another complete blog post inofitself. UGH.

      This is why I don’t watch those shows. But at least IT COULD BE A LIL FUNNY to distract me. Orrr… not.

  3. September 14, 2012 5:28 am

    I like some rom-coms. They’re like reading a trashy novel, entertainment but not in touch with reality. I was not a fan of Knocked Up because of how ridiculous it was but then I absolutely LOVE The Holiday and not just because I’m obsessed with both Kate Winslet and Jude Law.

    One of my other favorites (which I don’t know if you could entirely put it fully in the genre) is Devil Wears Prada. Despite how unrealistic a lot of it is, I really like the fact that the “relationship” ended up falling apart, just as it does in real life. Some people are not meant for forever but for a chapter in your life and that’s totally okay. We need more of those types of rom-coms in my opinion. It doesn’t need to dwell in the tragedy of a relationship failing but the acceptance that for 99% of us it will happen to 99.9% of all the relationships we ever engage in.

    • September 14, 2012 11:00 am

      I admit it: I love “the Devil Wears Prada” – mainly cuz Meryl Streep is AMAzing. Love her. Also – def appreciate the realness of how all that relationship stuff falls out. For sho’. And, yeah, totes agree that we absolutely need more realistic rom-coms!

  4. September 14, 2012 10:59 am

    I’m not gonna lie, I’m a sucker for rom-coms (The Wedding Date is my guilty pleasure bad day movie). I’m a sucker for a lot of movies, actually.. but I have mastered the art of not thinking about it too much. Otherwise I do get unreasonably agree at the ridiculousness of it all. (Was watching the Littles Hobo the other day and a kid ate rat poison and I became savage over the fact that the vet didn’t have the “antidote”….)

    That being said, I pretty much agree with you 100%. They do make marriage out to be the be all to end all or whatever that expression is. And it is foolish that we live in a culture that makes marriage out to be the key to a happy and successful and complete life, the ultimate goal, the final measure of whether or not you’re life is worthwhile…. and then try to deny certain groups that right. Absolutely ludicrous, really.

    I haven’t seen the movie that spawned this post, and I haven’t heard anything good about that particular movie… which kind of saddens me, because I like the actors in it. I’ll probably still see it. But I have very low expectations. And I probably will bang my head against a wall over moments in it. But… I am a pro at escapism. I can let go of reality pretty easily.

    • September 18, 2012 3:01 pm

      Oh, I am so easily entertained, it’s mildly ridiculous. The problem, of course, is that whole ignorance-is-bliss thing… I can’t turn it off sometimes…

      And I agree – I chose this movie because I liked the actors, and thought maybe it was going to be funny or at the very least unconventional. Whoops. Think again.

      But, yeah on all the marriage stuff. SIGH.

  5. September 18, 2012 8:00 am

    Thanks for saving me from potentially getting ambushed by yet another dull, clichéd romcom. May they all rot in a bargain bin in hell. 🙂

    • September 18, 2012 3:03 pm

      I think perhaps hell is where they make you watch them all… on repeat. Until they rot. Augh.

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