Students admit movies impact them more than they think

Some Keene State College students admitted they have been in a situation where they’ve looked at their significant other and thought, “Why can’t you be more like Ryan Gosling in the Notebook?” Or at least something along the lines of “If my life were more like a movie everything would be easier.”

According to an article for “The Telegraph” titled, “Romantic comedies make us ‘unrealistic about relationships,’ claim scientists,” people have unrealistic expectations of romance because of movies.

The article stated, “Researchers believe that the influence of Hollywood films is instilling a warped sense of a perfect relationship within society and providing unrealistic expectations about romance.”

Sarah Morrison / Equinox Staff

Sarah Morrison / Equinox Staff

The article wrote that movies oversimplify the process of falling in love and can negatively affect people’s relationships.

Dr. Bjarne Holmes, a psychologist who led the research used in the article, said, “The problem is that while most of us know that the idea of a perfect relationship is unrealistic, some of us are still more influenced by media portrayals than we realize.”

However, other movies, such as ones produced by Disney, can shape people’s attitudes and preferences, according to the Association for Natural Psychology’s website.

Taking this into consideration, students contemplated how much the movies they loved as kids influenced the way they see the world. KSC Junior Rebecca Marquis, a self-proclaimed Disney movie enthusiast, described how she idolized some of her favorite characters, such as Disney’s Lizzie McGuire and Princess Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.” Marquis explained those two specific characters were her favorites because of their abilities to stay true to themselves while at the same time being a little bit of outcasts.

“Lizzie [McGuire]  was so cool to me. She had these crazy hair styles that I loved and I’ll admit, I tried to replicate,” she said.

“And as much as [Lizzie McGuire] wanted to be cool and liked by the popular kids, she never abandoned who she was and never lost sight of who her real friends were and I loved that because that was something I struggled with in middle school,” Marquis said.

Aside from trying to pull off Lizzie McGuire’s whacky hair-do’s, Marquis also admitted that her love for “Beauty and the Beast” drew her to learning about the French culture — a passion which she still holds to this day. Ana Rose Webster, an Elementary Education and Dance Education major whose favorite childhood movies consisted mainly of fairy tales and princess movies, said she does not think she was as influenced by movies as others were.

Webster stated she thinks that movies can affect some of our views and habits, to an extent. She said sometimes she finds her colleagues dressing or acting in ways that mirror that of a character from a movie, but not to excess. In fact, according to Webster, the area she sees most influence from movies is in the way some people view relationships.

“Movies can often show such unrealistic relationship situations. In high school, I had friends that didn’t want to put in any effort into their relationships because of how effortless they seemed in the movies and because of that the relationships fell apart. Sometimes movies can set high expectations that, in the end, can set you up for failure,” she continued. Marquis reiterated Webster’s statement about unrealistic expectations from movies.

“After watching countless Disney movies, I think girls especially grow up to expect a lot of things out of guys or relationships that just aren’t realistic. Growing up, I expected a whirlwind romance and to be swept off of my feet. Now especially, I realize that this is the time for figuring out what you want. Your early or even late twenties are for exploring and adventures and figuring ourselves out,” Marquis said.

Senior and Graphic Design major Jill Tague, whose favorite movie growing up was “Alice in Wonderland,” stated it is her belief that Disney movies play a big role in determining sexual preferences.

“Disney discretely and virtually exposes the process of trying to balance out sexual preference and self- control. Through color, use of voice inflections and strange dialect, children are exposed to making decisions that are far more vast than a color of a crayon. This challenges children and strengthens their decision making skills based on a natural instinct — sex,” she stated.

Tague said she attributes “Alice in Wonderland” to the start of her love of art and explained how her ability to connect with Alice’s dream-like world inspires some of her pieces.

“I do believe that my artistic abilities were largely stimulated by the movies that I was first, exposed to, and second, largely attracted to. I feel that my relationships largely reflect the movies that I continuously watched as a kid and even my artworks reflect the movies that I watched the most,” she said.

Claire Hickey can be contacted at

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