In the last few months, two extremely similar movies about platonic relationships gone sexually awry have been released. To cover their own asses I’m sure, both No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits claim to be different, but as far as I can tell a new sect in the realm of Rom-Com is currently being developed. While we, as females, are trained to set romantic comedies aside from what we expect in relationships, it is unrealistic for these excessively emotional and imaginative movies to not impact the way relationship dynamics are construed.
Perhaps it is because I am numbed to their audacity, but the romantic comedy dynamic where the girl falls in love with the “unexpected” guy is a totally different playing field than this new subgenre. It does not add any complication to the dating process—it just goes to show that people find [ridiculously overly dramatic] love in unlikely places. However, this new sex-only system becoming romantically mainstream adds a whole new set of guidelines to complicate relationships.
My first problem with this new set of films is the implications within their titles. “Friends with Benefits.” It is through college life and emotional wrath of these menial relationships that they have received negative connotation. If you really think about it, the ultimate relationship and life partnership should literally be a great friendship with benefits. But that certainly does not mean that every platonic friendship has this potential.
While I am not one to be overly emotional (if anything, I am very much the opposite), I find the message of these movies to be extremely misguided and incoherent. It negatively effects both serious romantic relationships and platonic friendships by implying that no one is ever looking for either of those things, and in doing this makes it even more obnoxiously complicated to relay one’s true intentions.
What these movies both really made me think was, not to sound like Jenna Marbles here, but, WHY CAN’T WE JUST BE HONEST PEOPLE?? “I like you, you like me…let’s go.” Someone make a movie about that.