In real life running towards each other in slow-motion can look a little bit daft. And when it's raining, we'd all rather have a coat on, or an umbrella in hand, than attempt to look alluring with water dripping off our glasses. Quick, come in doors, you'll catch a terrible chill.
The movies present romance in its most idealised style. It's rare for unrequited love to feature too highly and the couple displaying some romantic spark in scene one, inevitably end up snogging by the second reel. Longing looks, dreamy lighting, sexy clothes on perfect bodies; it's just like a typical night out in the real world!
The art of seduction
If you're basing your expectations on the movies you might be in for a shock. Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie are unlikely to be down your local, although if they are they might be on their own these days...
If you are luvdup in real life, there is still probably some romance, of course, but instances of elaborate and over the top declarations of love are few and far between. And, to be honest, would you really want them every day?
Relationships work best when they are easy; some of the nicest moments with your partner are the simplest, such as staying in bed and watching telly. Or eating cheese on toast. Or both at the same time?
In the movies people wake up with their hair done and rarely tell each other that the breath is a bit dodgy after that curry last night. This is fine as long as we don't all start to think we're not good enough. Of course we are.
Which leads us onto the bodies. Even the glamorous and sexy stars of Hollywood have to employ body doubles for the more revealing scenes. Even they aren't confident enough to let it all hang out, so why are young women on the high street on a Friday night doing just that?
This isn't a moan though. Who doesn't love a rugged guy in a suit, or a buxom madam in a tight dress? As long as we recognise it for the fantasy that it is.
A perfect partner is one that will accept you no matter what, whether you’ve got the flu and need someone to bring you soup, or you’ve drunk too much and need someone to hold your hair back while you puke.
Sex in films never begins with, “Can you go on top? I’m a bit tired.” In dramatic romance movies, sex is sensual, life changing and for some reason a bit on the slow side, but always beautifully lit.
Romcoms rev it up a bit, adding a bit of crashing around the flat, bumping his or her head on a door frame, sitting in the sink or on the kitchen table. You know; the normal stuff that happens every time you fancy a romp. And the washing up has never been done - why does a single person need all of those saucepans?
And have you ever seen a film where bodily fluids are even vaguely acknowledged? Apart from 'There's something about Mary' of course. If you're looking for awkward reality, Woody Allen is probably your best bet with his schtick of insecurity and nervousness almost always on show. At least he has the decency to be suitably embarrassed about the whole thing.
The BFI Love Season (2015)
For a great guide to love in the movies, check out the BFI's Love Season. It was run in 2015 but that doesn't change the fact that it still offers a brilliant overview and lots of interesting articles on the films we know and love.
Love in the movies is great. It shows us the art of the possible; generally by showing us the impossible. So there you have it, love explained in a way that makes it incomprehensible. And that is pretty much like the real thing.