Sandra Bullock in “Miss Congeniality” (Warner Bros. Pictures), GIF courtesy of emerrei.tumblr.com
It is a truth universally (yet quietly) acknowledged that all women look to romantic comedies for guidance and aspiration. For it is only here that we can see a fresh-faced career gal (equipped with a Kate Spade bag and a determined smile) go from utterly alone to happily coupled in under two hours flat. And if you’ve traveled to Rom-Com Land yourself, then you know it’s a sappy, saccharine-laced place where normal rules are suspended — a place built on makeovers, gay besties and the perfect meet-cute.
Since we’ve spent so much time in this alternate universe over the years, we’ve decided to share what we’ve gleaned from watching all of the happily ever afters. Introducing…six major “Girl Code” life (and love) lessons you can only learn from romantic comedies!
Kate Bosworth in “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton,” screenshot courtesy of Paramount Pictures
1. Mr. Right has been right there all along. If Hollywood’s taught us one thing, it’s that there’s an excellent chance you already know your future husband. Surprise! It’s the Ridiculously Hot Guy Friend who’s been in love with you since you were 12. And don’t worry, it’s tooootally not weird (or self-centered) of you for never even bothering to notice. Even though you’re an emotional spinster who creates fake wedding scrapbooks and fantasizes about marrying every single guy you meet — the postman, some random dude at the bar, a telephone pole, etc. — RHGF will be there waiting for you until you come around.
Rachael Leigh Cook in “She’s All That” (Miramax Pictures), GIF courtesy of butlercat.tumblr.com
2. All good relationships are built on mutual disdain. Forget about love at first sight. On the off-chance your future hubby’s NOT someone you’ve known since middle school, he’s probs just that guy you wrote off as an asshat. Remember, it took hundreds of pages before Elizabeth Bennett decided Mr. Darcy wasn’t a total priss — and he looked like an early ’90s Colin Firth. So here’s the deal, ladies: Next time you meet a polite, caring guy who seems like a total sweetheart? Turn and RUN. An apparent d-bag with zero redeeming qualities, on the other hand? Congratulations! You just met your Prince Charming.
Anne Hathaway in “The Princess Diaries,” screenshot courtesy of Walt Disney/Buena Vista Pictures
3. You’re just one makeover montage away from fabulosity. If you’ve got three friends, two hours and a magical quick-changing dressing room, you’re ready to embrace your true calling…as an unrealistically attractive person! Truth is, you were never the ugly duckling you thought you were — you were just slightly awkward with ill-fitting glasses. Anyhow, don’t fret now ’cause you’re like two steps from awesome: Just wash your hair, put on some lip gloss and wait for everyone to freak the eff out. And they totally will — as though you just got extreme plastic surgery instead of contacts and a hairbrush.
Kate Hudson in “How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days” (Paramount Pictures), GIF courtesy of hellodollfac3.tumblr.com
4. Being clumsy and disgusting is adorable. Are you strange, gross or incapable of walking and chewing gum at the same time? Relax! You’re not an incompetent carnival freak — you’re just quirky and irresistible! Rom-com fact: Your general lack of equilibrium actually gives you an endearing vulnerability and an effective (if demeaning) damsel-in-distress type appeal. Which you’re probably gonna need if you want to seem relatable to the 99 percent of girls who don’t look like Regina George, even after she ate all those carbs.
Drew Barrymore in “Fever Pitch,” screenshot courtesy of Flower Films/20th Century Fox
5. Your friends are annoying and they give terrible advice. Your BFF (since high school!) with the screechy laugh and the jeggings? Yeah, she’s pretty much the worst — ’cept for that nosy co-worker (with the super cute clothes) and that scheming frenemy (with the trying-too-hard catchphrases and huge crush on your man). Look, we all make friends out of convenience, and we’re not suggesting you start sitting alone in the office cafeteria, but do yourself a favor and be more selective when choosing your gal pals. If your life really were a movie, shouldn’t your co-stars be just as awesome as you?
Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook” (The Weinstein Company), GIF courtesy of weheartit.com
6. Never talk out the crazy misunderstandings until it’s (borderline) too late. Did your boyfriend (or RHGF) do something terrible/implausible/unforgivable? Assume the absolute worst and DELETE THAT CREEP FROM YOUR LIFE. Talking is for suckers — any pro knows the only acceptable play is to cry, move on, and then wait for him to show up out of the blue with a Tiffany’s box and a reasonable explanation. Preferably by bursting into the wedding chapel when you’re thisclose to marrying someone else.
+ Learn anything else from watching a rom-com lately? Tell us which onscreen behaviors you’d like to take to the streets!
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