So, have any of you guys noticed that in the past decade or so, we have been getting more and more unnecessary love conflicts? Yes, they are everywhere, from books, to movies, to, it seems like the writers just can’t get enough of it.
Bio, what are you even talking about? I’m talking about how I can’t watch a decent movie without the plot being interrupted by “No wait, don’t leave me!” or “I still love you!” or worst of all, “Who do I pick?” I began noticing this trend years ago, but I never really thought much of it. Now, reflecting on recent movies and books, these love interests are practically being shoved down our throats… or at least mine.
There are many, many things that bother me with this. For one, it distracts from the main plot and just adds to the amount of time I sigh through the movie instead of white-knuckle gripping my seat. I mean come on, when you have a really good plot that’s action packed and thought provoking, do you really want to see some couple fighting or snogging it out on the side? No, you want to see how it all ends, not the main character tearing up as their love interest walks away.
Another thing, love triangles. These are one of the absolute worst plot devices next to Deus Ex Machina. Most notoriously used in movies geared towards teens (Whatever the actual plot may be.) these stupid drama hacks are extremely shallow and cast a terrible image on the three involved. When you have two people fighting over one person (Which is incredulously unrealistic by the way.) both of them tend to seems like jerks and the one they’re fighting over always goes back and forth until eventually breaking both of their hearts (insert fake tears here) and their own heart being broken as well. It’s basically a screenwriter’s way of saying “I give up.” Love triangles do not add to a story and are usually just plain infuriating.(not to mention the whole Team X Team Y thing that usually spawns off of it.)
Not only are these disappointing in books and movies, but (And I have firsthand experience with this) the teens watching these kinds of movies think that this is the norm and how things work in real life. I have seen my friends hurt because somebody decided that they wanted to instill drama and REFUSED to give them a straight answer and ended up outright lying about liking another guy just to see what my friend would do. It’s utterly sickening. This has happened multiple times with different people. It’s not an isolated event.
Then, there are book adaptations or remakes of movies that add in some kind of inconvenient extra character, JUST FOR THE SAKE OF HAVING ONE. The second Hobbit movie is an example. And then movies that accentuate the love interest, such as Divergent just send me over the edge. I understand that in the book she liked him and they spent the night together and whatever, but they shove it in our faces like “You WILL accept this, and you WILL love this.” In fact, the books do this too.
I honestly cannot see how anybody finds these love interests to be necessary or even entertaining. They detract from the main plot, and most of the time make me end up hating the living soul out of that movie/book. There is something extremely, fundamentally wrong with society if we feel the need to watch others suffer emotional wreckage, and then inflict that wreckage upon someone else just because they saw it in a movie.
Now, I will recognize that there are other stories where the love interest doesn’t detract from the story. The Star Wars original trilogy actually handled it very well. The carbon-freezing chamber was a bit much, but they didn’t have Leia become so overcome with love that she tried to sacrifice herself for Solo. They said goodbye, and in the next movie they rescued him, not because Leia was in love with him, but also because it made sense. Solo had some very smart and powerful friends who were perfectly capable of freeing him, so they did.
There are also plots where it is about the love interest, such as The Princess Bride. The movie had made love a central theme of the story and they didn’t force it. They set up the interest, made some non-triangle-related conflict with that interest, and ended up overcoming the conflict. It is arguable that there is a sort of love triangle happening in the movie, as Humperdink was intent on marrying Buttercup, but it was extremely clear that Buttercup was being forced into the marriage, and that Humperdink didn’t actually have any feelings for her.
TL:DR, Love interests in media just seem to be forcibly pushed onto us without adding anything except run time into the actual story. This doesn’t mean love interests can’t be tastefully used, or that they can’t be what the movie is about, but instead means that many writers just add them in when they can’t think of anything else to add conflict.
Please discuss, and those of you who don’t agree, tell me why I’m wrong.