Silver Screen Love Lessons: 10 Things You Can -- and Can't -- Learn from Movies

From quirky comedies to sweeping epics, Hollywood loves a good love story -- and so do we! But what can you take away from the theater (other than leftovers from a six-dollar bag of popcorn)? Relationship advice. Here are 10 relationship tips you'll find amid the lights, cameras and all that action.

Men and women are never "just friends"
In When Harry Met Sally, platonic pals Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal fight their mutual passion for most of the movie. (If they'd given in earlier the film would have been a short!) Not all friends of the opposite sex should fall into bed, but the lesson here is that there will always be a tinge of regret about the road not taken. Sure things might get complicated, but it's usually a risk worth taking. And as Billy Crystal points out early on, chances are that you were never really "just friends" in the first place. Any connection strong enough to sustain a friendship that spans many years is probably based on much deeper feelings.

Imperfect men can make caring partners
Although Jack Nicholson has more than his share of annoying quirks in As Good As It Gets, his sincerity and genuine love eventually capture the heart of Oscar-winner Helen Hunt.

Even Peter Pan can grow up
Give a man-child the benefit of the doubt! In About A Boy, perennial commitment-phobe Hugh Grant proves redeemable when he discovers that going through life solo is certainly simple, but not nearly as fulfilling as he once thought.

A diamond-in-the-rough can be worth his weight in gold
Drew Barrymore figured it out. Even though he's a geeky, financially struggling Wedding Singer, Adam Sandler has a lot more to offer than her wealthy but vapid fiancé.

When you marry someone, you inherit his family
In My Big Fat Greek Wedding, John Corbett (who could be the poster boy for 21st Century WASPS everywhere) realizes his relationship with Nia Vardalos doesn't stand a chance unless he gets her crazy-but-well-meaning family to accept him.

Only in the Movies

Contrary to the lessons to be learned in the movies from the previous page, the following scenes are strictly limited to reel life. As in, this is the stuff of fantasy; as in, don't try this at home; as in Jurassic Park is never going to happen and neither will this...

Crazy men make sane boyfriends
Punch Drunk Love's seemingly stable Emily Watson quickly decides that Adam Sandler is the man for her -- despite his indulging in violent, even semi-psychotic outbursts, stalking her, and abandoning her while she's in the hospital.

Everything that's "meant to be" should happen at all costs
Serendipity's John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale have great lives with terrific fiancés, yet allow wedding day jitters to cause them impulsively throw it all away to pursue a fantasy.

Your white knight is just round the corner
Sure ... a rich, successful man is going to bring a hooker (who has a heart of gold in addition to legs that don't stop) up to his hotel room, wine, dine and ultimately marry her. If you believe this Pretty Woman story, there's a bridge in Brooklyn we can sell you.

True love can conquer any hurdle
Big deal that Meg Ryan's perfect mate Hugh Jackman isn't just from a different time zone, but a different time period! In the finale of Kate and Leopard, this millennium Ms. travels back to the 19th century to be with her man from the past. Don't look for this plotline outside of a theater near you any time soon.

Some movies have an extra scene that plays as the credits roll. Consider this, our last category, the final finale:

Woody Allen can get any young thing he wants
The older he gets, the younger his costars seem to be (e.g.: Hollywood Ending's Téa Leoni). If life were just, this inequity would not reflect reality. Sigh. Just ask Mia Farrow to talk about the unjustness of life and love on and off the big screen.

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