Originally I was going to title this post: "Am I a Terrible Person For Not Loving Love Actually" but then I had a personal revelation and wanted to talk about that instead.
While there were a couple of characters I was totally rooting for (Dr. Watson and his stand in partner, the office workers and the kids)*, a few of the story lines made me a little uncomfortable (older bosses with younger employees and the feeling that we're supposed to be rooting for the guy who's totally in love with his best friend's new wife). However, I think my discomfort really boils down to a general cynicism about love stories—or at least ones where love as the answer. No story I've ever written has a happily ever after ending. Not necessarily dark endings, but gray, 'we move forward from here' type endings. As I was thinking about writing this post, I realized that a lot of that comes from growing up dealing with Bipolar 2.
In Bipolar 2, it's very easy to get swept up in your emotions when you're hypomanic. You don't quite lose yourself in the mania the way bipolar people do but you do feel amazing, like you've discovered the secret of to life and suddenly everything is going to okay forever. Inevitably, you come down. You start to realize that the things you thought you'd figured out weren't actually such clear revelations. In fact, they might have been terrible ideas, actually they were the worst ideas and you're a terrible person whose every thought and action has been terrible and so it goes until you bottom out and start putting yourself back together again only to get swept up in another wave of hypomania.
After getting burned by years and years of these cycles, I've learned not to trust my emotions. To me relationships are about work. They're about seeing how well you fit with some one, not at all how you feel in that first blush of emotion. It takes me months to settle in and commit because I'm just not sure what my feelings are going to be in the long run, so every time I see a rom com where people make crazy, impulsive, life-altering decisions based on emotions they're feeling in the moment all I can see is the gradual tapering off of infatuation, the way that adorable idiosyncrasies become unbearable, and the eventual real-life consequences of rash decisions.
I feel bad not liking this movie because so many people I know really really love it. It's my roommate's favorite movie, but I don't want to talk too much about my reaction because I don't want to ruin it for her, but I just can't suspend my disbelief.
I totally agree with the reasons people are giving for not liking the movie and I would have gone into them if I had stuck to my original post, but when I started writing, it totally took a turn and I think what I wrote applies to how I feel about a lot of rom-coms. I just can't get into them because I'm not a fan of the idea of happily ever after.
ETA 2: A rom-comish move that I really like is Timer
because she gives up on the sexy but irresponsible younger guy and ends up with someone she would be really well suited to. That's the kind of love I'm looking for, not someone flashy, but someone who would be good for me, and who I would be better with.
*I'm terrible at remembering character names.