Careful ladies ... dragging your man to sit through hours of Hugh Grant and Jennifer Aniston high jinks on the silver screen could damage your relationship — and not just because he will scoff at trite plot lines and sickly-sweet endings.
The idealized love scenarios in romantic comedies can set unrealistic expectations and lead to crushing disappointment in real life, according to an Australian study widely reported Thursday.
“It seems our love of rom-coms is turning us into a nation of 'happy-ever-after addicts,'" said study director and relationship advisor Dr. Gabrielle Morrissey.
"Yet the warm and fuzzy feeling they provide can adversely influence our view of real relationships."
The study found that women expected their partners to behave more like the leading men in their favorite flowery films, including expecting gifts and roses "just because" and feeling disappointed if a man did not take a knee when proposing.
"Real relationships take work, and true love requires more than fireworks," said Morrissey of the expectations.
A similar study conducted in Scotland came to the same conclusion, according to British newspaper The Daily Mail.
Researchers at Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University found movies like "Notting Hill" and "Runaway Bride," both featuring rom-com queen Julia Roberts, set impossible expectations of romantic grandeur.
Couples who viewed saccharine sagas like "You've Got Mail," "Maid in Manhattan," "The Wedding Planner" and "While You Were Sleeping" failed to communicate effectively after the film.