These Classic Romantic Movie Endings Will Make You Cringe Today
When was the last time you rewatched these films?
The romantic genre is probably the most time-sensitive and changeable. If the things that scare us or blow our minds may not change for decades, the relationships between people, especially those in love, are reimagined almost every year.
Today, we've learned to recognize red flags and toxicity, we strive for healthy bond with others, we know the importance of taking care of ourselves. But it was different just a few years ago.
So it is only natural that movies that reflect real life are changing with us. And those projects that were considered the ultimate classics don't look good for the modern generation of viewers.
For example, let's take a look at the endings of five popular movies that haven't aged well and raise many questions today.
You've Got Mail (1998)
At its core, the story is about the powerlessness of small businesses against large corporations. The parallels in the portrayal of the relationship between Meg Ryan's Kathleen and Tom Hanks' Joe only reinforce this impression.
Like her beloved cute family bookstore, Kathleen has no choice but to surrender to the conglomerate (or a man) with limitless resources. And we can't help but wonder: Should a codependent relationship be idealized in this way?
The Little Mermaid (1989)
If you take away the fantasy aspect of the Disney classic, you'll see that the whole story of Ariel is deeply problematic, and there's not even a hint of a healthy relationship in it. The mermaid is basically an underage teenager who knows nothing about the world she is entering and the older man into whose arms she is throwing herself.
Could this creepy deal ever end well? Well, probably in a fairy tale.
Goldie Hawn's protagonist may not be the most likable character, but what she goes through in this movie is more the stuff of a psychological thriller than a romantic comedy.
The rich woman is badly injured and loses her memory. She is taken hostage and used as free labor for a large family, who brainwash her into believing that she belongs with them. And when she finally discovers the truth and still decides to stay with the family, can we honestly say that she is doing it out of free will or Stockholm Syndrome?
Pretty Woman (1990)
The very beginning of the relationship between Julia Roberts' Vivian and Richard Gere's Edward is problematic. No, we are not saying that love for hire is inherently bad. But the way both characters lie to each other and to themselves about their business deal being something real and great is troubling.
The protagonists never change and continue to see money as the main driving force of the world and each other as a means to achieve their desires without bothering to find a real connection. Could such a relationship last long? We doubt it.
Love Actually (2003)
The Christmas classic has many storylines, and one of them makes us cringe every time we watch it. Andrew Lincoln's Mark, portrayed as a tortured hero in love with an unavailable woman, may elicit sympathy, but his story is really material for a crime documentary.
Simply put, Mark is a stalker who starts acting on his desires when he arrives at the girl's door with the confession. Who knows where his obsession will take him next, especially after the object of his desire gives him a kiss?