Always A Frenchie, Never A Sandy: Unrequited Love In Popular Films

Any professional or even casual rom-com watcher will note that there is a clear winner and loser in these movies. While there may be the occasional rogue who roots for the “Phantom of the Opera” instead of Raoul, generally, it’s pretty clear-cut who we all want together.

We cry over Noah and Allie’s epic love in “The Notebook” and we root for Rose and Jack in “Titanic,” though we know the boat sinks. But I think we’re forgetting some integral characters: the ones who didn’t get picked.

Now, granted, a lot of our favorite romantic heroes and heroines leave rather unscrupulous characters to be with the ones they truly love, but sometimes, some perfectly nice people are just left out in the dust.

I want justice for Duckie from “Pretty in Pink.” I want a love interest for Mark Cohen in “Rent.” I want Lon Hammond, Allie’s fiancé in “The Notebook,” to find a girl just as lovely to marry (particularly me… hello, James Marsden). I want the quirky friends and overlooked significant others to find love too.

I guess it’s my own feeling of being overlooked that makes me feel for these characters. I quite literally feel my “invisible woman” syndrome in play every day, especially when it comes to social situations. I am the quirky friend at best; at worst, I am the other girl in the Taylor Swift video that gets left seemingly only because I am brunette and wore red… but the crowd roars.

If anyone has seen “The Holiday,” they may remember the story of two couples who meet while two women do a house exchange for Christmas. What you may not remember, and what brought me to tears immediately, was the amazing quote that Kate Winslet’s character opens the movie with:

“I suppose I think about love more than anyone really should. I am constantly amazed by its sheer power to alter and define our lives… Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone? We are the victims of the one-sided affair. We are the cursed of the loved ones. We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded. The handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space!”

I guess if Rose can also feel this way at one point, there might be hope for the rest of us.

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