Romantic? Or just really weird?

By Diana Pearl
Updated February 04, 2016 12:00 PM
Everett Collection

Turns out, romantic comedies may want to rethink their moniker – to romantic creepies.

A new study from University of Michigan gender and sexuality expert Julia R Lippman claims that male behaviors often show in rom-coms are actually pretty damaging to our perception of what’s “normal.” Basically, rom-coms are making us think actions that are actually pretty creepy and borderline stalker-ish are romantic, sweet or passionate.

Lippman looked at women’s responses to aggressive behavior in relationships in two groups. The first was after watching rom-coms like There’s Something About Mary and the second, non-romance movies like March of the Penguins. Those who had watched films in the first category were much more likely to believe that aggressive actions and stalker-like behavior were acceptable in a relationship – all in the name of love.

“At their core, all these films are trading in the ‘love conquers all’ myth,” Lippman told Canada Global News. “Even though, of course, it doesn t. Love is great, but so is respect for other people.”

And if you really, really think about it, some of our favorite movies don’t seem quite so full of love anymore.

For instance, in Love Actually, Mark is basically a total jerk to Juliet, his best friend’s wife, throughout the film. Then, she discovers his true feelings when he makes a slightly intense video from her wedding. Creepy? Yes. Mean? Yes. Being in love with someone is not an excuse to be mean to her!

Or when, in Say Anything, John Cusack’s character, Lloyd, says that he has no life plans other than being with Diane. Dude, don’t make this 18-year-old carry the weight of your happiness on her shoulders.

And in Something Borrowed, we’re actually made to feel sympathy for the guy who is cheating on his fiancée with her best friend.

In There’s Something About Mary, Ted is still obsessed with Mary 13 years after their failed prom date. Move on, dude. MOVE ON.

Or in Grease, when Sandy keeps going after a guy who is, quite literally, embarrassed to show his face in public with her. That is, until she changes her entire appearance.

And of course, in Twilight – which, although technically not a romantic comedy, is too creepy to leave out. Edward is freakishly obsessed with Bella from the moment he sees her. In turn, this leads to controlling behavior and later on, abandoning her. Oh, he also wants to kill her pretty much all the time. Healthy.

Not so romantic, is it?