8 Romance Movie Endings That Look Way Too Problematic in 2023
When it comes to problematic movie storylines that have not aged well, romantic films are the worst. Here are eight examples to prove it.
8. Ghost (1990)
The story of Demi Moore's Molly being visited by the ghost of her late boyfriend, played by Patrick Swayze, may seem romantic. But upon closer inspection, the actions of Swayze's character are seen in a different light. He invades the life of his grieving girlfriend, confusing her and putting her life in danger. Then, he murders a man and disappears, leaving Molly to deal with her newfound trauma.
7. Groundhog Day (1993)
Bill Murray's character, Phil, may be iconic, but should Andie MacDowell's Rita have ended with him? With his ability to relive a day over and over again, Phil manipulates Rita into falling in love with him — and, clearly, that's no way to start a healthy relationship.
6. Love Actually (2003)
Love Actually is an enduring Christmas classic, but one of its storylines hasn't aged well. Andrew Lincoln's character, Mark, is in love with his best friend's wife and shows signs of stalker behavior.
The finale of this story is highly confusing: Mark comes to his love interest's door with a declaration of love, and she kisses him behind her husband's back. Is this really the way to deal with stalkers?
5. Overboard (1987)
Although Overboard is considered one of the most romantic movies ever made, the story of a woman who loses her memory and becomes a hostage in a man's house is a textbook thriller. Was her decision to stay with the kidnapper driven by true love or just Stockholm Syndrome? That's the question.
4. Pretty Woman (1990)
Sadly, the whole reason Julia Roberts' Vivian and Richard Gere's Edward got together was because of their superficial desires and unrealistic expectations of each other. Based on money and sexual attraction, their relationship could hardly last in the real world.
3. The Little Mermaid (1989)
There is a lot wrong with the romantic story of Ariel and Prince Eric. They don't know each other, and Ariel is much younger and naive about the human world. Basically, this is a dramatic story of a teenager coming of age and throwing herself into a potentially fatal relationship.
No wonder Andersen's original tale ended in tragedy.
2. You've Got Mail (1998)
Though this film remains beloved by audiences to this day, there's a big red flag about its main characters' relationship. Tom Hanks' Joe secretly bankrupts Meg Ryan's Kathleen's bookstore and drives her out of business, effectively making her codependent on him. Shouldn't a relationship be based on support and mutual trust, though?
1. The Proposal (2009)
Sandra Bullock plays a strong and highly successful boss-woman in The Proposal, but the whole film seems to be making her character pay for her success. Her love interest, played by Ryan Reynolds, is disrespectful and constantly oversteps her boundaries, but she still chooses to be with him in the end.