How Do Movies Affect the Way We View Love?

Movies can be entertaining, informational, relevant, humorous, and a whole plethora of other things. In addition, most people start watching movies at a young age and continue to enjoy movies during childhood and throughout an entire lifetime. So, it only makes sense that cinema would influence the way that we perceive and think about certain topics.

Love is one of the most common elements used in film because of its relatability, intrigue, and emotional attachment to our lives. However, the way that it is used in movies can differ depending on the genre. Romantic dramas will sometimes show love as challenging, but worth the effort while comedies are more likely to focus on downfalls with some even promoting the idea that some love is not worthwhile compared to the effort required to find true love.

Regardless, from a young age, our view of love is most likely shaped in part by the movies and television shows that we consume.  Before examining the ways that movies and television shows can alter our perception of love, what is love and what are the different types?

What is Love?

Love usually refers to a complex category of feelings and actions characterized by commitment and intimacy. When we talk about love in everyday conversation, we are usually referring to romantic love, but love can be felt between friends, family, and other relationships as well.

Love involves various emotions and feelings from happiness and euphoria to excitement and passion. However, it can also contribute to negative emotions like jealousy, envy, and anxiety.

The art throughout the ages has depicted love in various ways and that has continued with film and cinematography. Generally, love is regarded as one of the most important human emotions and a significant component of the human experience.

To learn more about the impact of love and to find resources and guidance about navigating love, you can find some knowledgeable and beneficial articles and other resources at

How Do Movies Influence Love?

Romantic movies as well as other genres that depict loving relationships of various types are not always solely entertainment and can speak to us in ways that other media sometimes cannot. Some people connect more to movies than they do with books or music and these types of connections and perceptions can alter the way that we think about love and perceive love in our day-to-day lives.

Many of us probably see the portrayal of love in movies as fantastical and unrealistic. Sometimes the challenges are brushed by with ease and the experience is pure bliss. Other times, there is humor in the difficulties with marriage and relationships. However, it is hard to know how these types of portrayals actually influence our perception.

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan investigated the way that romance in movies and television shows affected the way people acted in relationships. The participants included 625 college students, 392 females and 233 males.

These 625 participants were provided a list of 93 romantic movies. Some of the films included on the list were “Crazy Stupid Love, “500 Days of Summer,” and “In Time.” The participants were asked how many of these 93 movies they had watched before. They were also given a list of 17 sitcoms that included “Big Bang Theory” and “How I Met Your Mother,” which also include romantic themes of love. The participants reported whether they had seen these shows and how often they watched them. Finally, the participants were also asked about reality shows that deal with themes of marriage like “The Bachelor.”

Researchers analyzed the participants and their ideas about love. The responses were gauged and assessed concerning the perceptions of the ways that television and movies portrayed love. The analysis prompted determinations about whether the participants thought that love portrayed in television and film was realistic or if it leans more toward fantasy.

The study came to three main conclusions. The first was the increased exposure to romantic movies increased the likelihood that people would believe that love will find a way and overcome challenges and obstacles. Since virtually every romantic movie manages a conflict and the love and relationship win out in the end, it doesn’t seem like an illogical stretch that those who regularly view these types of movies would believe in the power of love and its ability to conquer.

The second conclusion from the study was that increased views of marriage-themed reality television shows caused participants to have a stronger belief in love at first sight. They also believed in the idea that true love will be nearly perfect. The researchers called this idea idealization.

Finally, the third and final conclusion was that watching television sitcoms contributed to a negative perception of romance and love. This correlated with decreased belief in concepts of “love at first sight” and “love finds a way.” These participants were the least likely to be prone to an idealization of love and the idea of “the one and only.”

So, the correlations between certain genres and themes and the perception of love seemed fairly strong. However, how could this interfere or aid with our love and relationships?

How Does This Affect Our Relationships?

Our beliefs about love are likely to change our motivations and experiences in romantic relationships. If we are more likely to idealize love because of the movies we watch, then we may be more likely to be disappointed in our own relationships. Furthermore, we may be more likely to persist in love if we watch movies that cause us to believe that there is a “one and only” or that true love can always persevere through challenges that may occur.

The amount that these views encourage successful and healthy relationships or discourage them is unknown, but it is not unlikely that some influence makes a difference. While there is no research done on the implications of the impact, it could be influential in our success or failure in certain relationships.


It can be hard to leave film as pure entertainment and, like any other entertainment or media, it can change the way we see the world and society. This may even be one of the reasons that cinema is so entertaining and such an important part of the culture. As humans, we cherish art that tells realistic stories with themes that we identify with. This can lead us to consume similar genres and types of romantic movies that can have a lasting impact on our beliefs and ideals.



Comment with Facebook

Leave a Reply