Toxic Stuff in Movies about L&D

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TwilightPrincess
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10 May 2024, 11:59 am

I was just thinking that there’s a lot of toxic messages/themes in movies that contain a love story. I suspect that autistics could be more likely to internalize some of those things as normal/acceptable than the general population, not that many NTs don’t too.

I’ll start with a notorious classic: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” :lol:

Obviously, there’s not going to be a lot of quoting in this thread. It’s more about overarching themes/messages.


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DuckHairback
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10 May 2024, 12:30 pm

I'm sure I'll think of some specific ones at some point but...

You can argue that the romantic myth that forms the backbone of almost all romantic films is toxic. The idea that there is someone 'meant' for you, or that there is a 'one' that's right for you.

Also the structure is often inherently toxic - that the story concludes when the relationship begins. Most love stories end when the couple finally get together, happy ever after and the credits roll. But that isn't what relationships are like at all.

The movie The Graduate is a 50 year old movie so I guess I don't have to worry about spoilers, but it ends with the male character disrupting the female character's wedding and they run out of the church together and get on a passing bus. Their faces as the bus departs is very open to interpretation but the way I read is this: they're initially happy, exhilarated at what they've just done. Slowly, their faces settle and the excitement is replaced by something else. Boredom? Dread? The thrill of the chase is gone and the movie closes with Simon and Garfunkle singing "Hello darkness, my old friend..." I prefer to read it as a subtle subversion of the romantic myth, although its debated.


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IsabellaLinton
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10 May 2024, 12:35 pm

"You complete me ...."

Jerry Maguire


idk about you, but I'm complete on my own and I hope / expect / know my partner is too.
I have enough trouble holding myself together.
I don't need to be repairing other people for them to love me.


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DuckHairback
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10 May 2024, 1:27 pm

Do your weirdo looks and behaviours put boys off?

Image


Have you tried this?

Image


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nick007
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10 May 2024, 2:09 pm

Well said DuckHairback.

In some movies a guy tries to get a date or hook-up with a woman who's a higher social status. The guy puts on a false persona & lies about some things in order to impress her. Eventually he can not keep the act up & she finds out the truth. He insists his feelings for her are real & she forgives him & they stay a couple & that's where the movie ends. A great or I should say hortible example of this is the movie Wedding Crashers.


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Lost_dragon
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10 May 2024, 8:09 pm

'Stop the plane / wedding! I know I'm your ex and our relationship was bad because I was in a bad place and needed to grow as a person but I've changed now'

'Oh, well it's good that you've improved yourself but I'm about to get married to someone I'm happily in a relationship with. He is dependable, we get along great and he is a kind step father to my kids'

'Yes but have you considered that he's boring and that I'm the protagonist? I bet he doesn't know that one obscure fact that I know about you'

'Oh well when you put it like that I'm on my way'

:roll:

:lol:


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ProfessorJohn
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10 May 2024, 10:45 pm

Movie theme: If you try hard enough, you can just win the person over.

Reality: Some people will not be attracted to you or into you no matter what you do.



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11 May 2024, 6:54 am

1) The general assumption that being in a relationship with a romantic interest is the end-all goal. That it must be the end of every movie. (Sometimes the end result is that both people aren't compatible. Sometimes realizing that you're both better off as friends than a relationship is the end result.)

2) Rom-coms when the male lead lies constantly, is immature, communicates horribly, etc., but then the romantic interest always magically forgives him.



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11 May 2024, 11:14 am

It is ok to cheat on your spouse if you find someone you really click with RE: The English Patient, Bridges of Madison County



nick007
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11 May 2024, 12:20 pm

An introverted person can find a relationship by having one wild night or day like going to a party or dance for the first time in their life or taking a road-trip with friends.


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IsabellaLinton
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11 May 2024, 3:00 pm

When my daughter was young I didn't like her to watch The Little Mermaid. If I read her the book I always changed the story, too. I didn't like the fact Ariel gave up her voice, her family, her life underwater, and her mermaid tail, just to make a man happy and be in love.

What did he give up for her?

If magic existed such that she could grow legs and live on land, why couldn't he grow a tail and live underwater? Even better, why couldn't there just be a magic compromise where they'd both be able to change at will?

Most of the time when I read my daughter any fairy tale I changed the ending from "happily ever after" with a marriage, to "and then they became best friends and went to university together ..."

She used to laugh at that.

She actually defended Little Mermaid to me recently and said it wasn't as bad as I thought, but I can't remember the reasons. Maybe I should check it out again.


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Tim_Tex
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11 May 2024, 4:13 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
When my daughter was young I didn't like her to watch The Little Mermaid. If I read her the book I always changed the story, too. I didn't like the fact Ariel gave up her voice, her family, her life underwater, and her mermaid tail, just to make a man happy and be in love.

What did he give up for her?

If magic existed such that she could grow legs and live on land, why couldn't he grow a tail and live underwater? Even better, why couldn't there just be a magic compromise where they'd both be able to change at will?

Most of the time when I read my daughter any fairy tale I changed the ending from "happily ever after" with a marriage, to "and then they became best friends and went to university together ..."

She used to laugh at that.

She actually defended Little Mermaid to me recently and said it wasn't as bad as I thought, but I can't remember the reasons. Maybe I should check it out again.


That's basically all Disney Princess films, except maybe Brave.


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IsabellaLinton
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11 May 2024, 4:19 pm

Something about LM just seemed so obvious to me. I guess it was the distinction of water vs land. Also it was a huge movie and merchandise thing when my daughter was that age, so she was seeing it everywhere.

We actually loved A Cinderella Story (movie) (Hillary Duff), and Ever After.

We don't have a problem with characters falling in love but the whole "change everything about myself for you" thing is weird. Mind you I guess Cinderella does that too.

I remember participating / ranting in a whole thread about fairy tales once.

I should look that up.

I love Beauty and the Beast, although he's the one to change in that.
The good news is that he changes in ways that he wants to change.
She loved him both ways.


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nick007
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11 May 2024, 5:34 pm

Disney princess fairy-tales tend to be very shallow. The guy comes from a very well off background whereas the woman is very poor. The guy comes to her rescue & falls in love with her beauty. They get married based on that & she's presumably gonna be a trophy wife. In real life lots of guys are not very well off. Lots of women do not have extreme physical beauty & even if they do they want to be appreciated for reasons besides their looks. There's an unofficial psych term called Cinderella Complex. I'll include the movie Pretty Woman with this.


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TwilightPrincess
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11 May 2024, 9:41 pm

ProfessorJohn wrote:
Movie theme: If you try hard enough, you can just win the person over.

Reality: Some people will not be attracted to you or into you no matter what you do.

Yeah, I was thinking along those lines.

In a lot of movies with a love story, when someone turns down a date, sex, or whatever, the interested person keeps on trying until the object of their desire says “yes,” and then they fall in love/get married/live happily ever after.

I dealt with a couple of persistent individuals when I was in my late teens/early twenties. Some of it was related to fundie culture and being the only single female in my church (fun times), but obviously, some people in general think such behavior is acceptable. Being on the receiving end of it, it made me really uncomfortable. If I say that I don’t want to date someone, it’s a permanent thing. Theoretically, if I changed my mind, I would let them know. That’s never happened.


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TwilightPrincess
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11 May 2024, 9:43 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
"You complete me ...."

Jerry Maguire


idk about you, but I'm complete on my own and I hope / expect / know my partner is too.
I have enough trouble holding myself together.
I don't need to be repairing other people for them to love me.

Yes!! :heart:


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