Updated: Jan 31
Despite what we preach about looking for someone who loves and cares about you, we still glorify many toxic and relationships in movies in TV shows. If you look at Netflix's teen romcoms within the last year or two, the majority of the relationships are honestly... just horrible. The relationship timeline, whether romantic or friendship wise, is supported by so many impressionable teens. Yes, I do understand that I sound old and I may not be giving the teen youth enough credit. But when I go on YouTube to look at these problematic movies and young teens support the behavior outright... I get a little worried. But let me give more of an explanation of some movies I really find to be an issue. (SPOILERS might be ahead.)
The Kissing Booth 1 and 2
In MY opinion! The kissing booth is about a girl who is being controlled by two men. I say this because so many of Elle's choices are influenced by her best friend Lee and Lee's older brother Noah. Lee has hold over Elle because they have a set of rules that and one is Elle can't date his older brother. Lee even makes it clear that he will never talk to Elle again. On top of that, Noah is beating up and threatening guys who try to date Elle, and when she calls him out and tells him to stop, he simply replies with "We'll see about that." And I'm supposed to root for this? Before they get together he shows very clear signs of aggression towards her or is lecturing her as if she doesn't know what's best for her. That was simply the first movie. In the second movie, Elle has to decide if she wants to keep her promise to her best friend and go to UC Berkeley or go to Harvard with her boyfriend who she shows very poor communication with the entire time he's away at college. But it's not like Elle is innocent herself as she is going behind Lee's back for months and only admits her once she gets caught. In the second movie, she doesn't really try talking anything out with Noah, goes behind Lee's back again, and even cheats on Noah after she makes a big song and dance about how he may be doing the same (And he never cheats). This is why I don't root for anyone in this movie.
People actually loved these movies and more power to them when they get excited about the 3rd installment. But I can't help but be perplexed at a lot of these comments given that this wouldn't fly in a normal relationship and that someone would outside of those three looks at Elle and tell her she needs to separate herself from both of those guys and gro as her own person. I guess that's all I can cross my fingers for when the next movie comes out.
Aside from the fact that the main character, Jodie, doesn't have a personality aside from the fact that she's tall. And by tall, I only mean 6'1 which is maybe the average height of any male unless I missed something. She is honestly not a good person. She knows a boy is taken and still flirts with him and has even kissed him. While what she did was alone was terrible, I want to focus on her friend Dunkleman. Dunkleman is Jodie's best friend and has had a crush on her for a long time. How does he handle those feelings you ask? By not taking the massive hint and repeated vocal rejection that she is not interested. Not only does he bother her constantly about trying to date her but also constantly tries to bring down her self esteem (which she shows to not have much of) so that he can up his chances. When the movie does something bold such as having him date someone else, they could have sent a message to so many that young viewers that you don't have to focus all your time and energy on someone who has already clearly rejected you. As bad as it sounds, some people need that message so they can move on and grow as a person. Sadly, he gets with his friend who she has no real chemistry with. Because that's the message we want. Pester and manipulate your crush by bringing down her self esteem and when you are dating someone else who is actually more compatible and makes you happy you should break up with her and wait on the girl who has rejected you...forever.
I'm only going to do one more and After definitely takes the cake. After is about a girl named Tessa who is starting her freshman year of college and meets a bad boy named Hardin and finds herself in a relationship with him. This was written by a teenager and picked for a movie and a sequel. But this movie is red flag central as the bad boy, Hardin, doesn't respect boundaries, tells her not to always trust him, and even gets with Tessa as a bet. Why is she trying to date this man or get closer to this man, even though she already has a boyfriend? Why would she go for someone who wouldn't leave her dorm room when she asked him to as she is not only uncomfortable but was only covered with a towel. Fun fact, not leaving a dorm room when you are asked is trespassing. What's odd is that people will try to defend the story saying the book is actually better. But if even Harry Styles, the guy who Hardin is base on, has blocked the creator on Twitter, I have to ask... Is it better? What could the movie has exaggerated to make the book better and the characters more redeemable? And they're coming out with a second movie that people are so excited for and I have to sit there and hope that girls really don't want to go for guys or even just relationships like this.
These are just a FEW examples of not so great relationships that people love to watch. Like I said, I go into these YouTube videos watching trailers and scenes and there are so many comments that are either justifying the behavior or some WISHING they could be that girl who is mentally going in circles wondering if she's in a good relationship with small happy moments. Everyone, do not wish for this. You want someone who is not going to mentally wear you out and someone who will give you your space when you say that you want your space.