5 Toxic Movies God Wants You to Stop Romanticizing

Who formed your idea of love? If you’re like many, it wasn’t God, it wasn’t your parents, it wasn’t even the person you fell in love with. No, it was something much more distorted and toxic.

It was the movies.

For as long as films have been in existence, Christian movie or not, they have continued to pervert and disfigure the truth meaning of loving relationships.

That’s why in today’s episode, I want to talk to you about the 5 toxic movies that God wants you to stop romanticizing, NOW.

Pop culture affects our views of love and relationships more than we’d like to admit. Even ones that we know are ungodly can even shape our desires and expectations in destructive ways… if we’re not careful.

Entertainment is not as passive as we’d like to believe. Think of the word….ENTERtainment. When we sit down to a movie, TV show, video game, or any other piece of content, we are allowing those images, stories, and ideas to ENTER into our soul.

Think of how much easier you laugh at jokes at a comedy club….that’s because the environment has been set.

So when you sit down to a romantic movie, you’re likely doing so with an open mind to receive all the thoughts and feelings associated with this movie.

And based upon those feelings, you build your belief system. How many times have you heard someone describe a man or woman of their dreams and this person only exists inside of a movie?

That’s because our view of reality is skewed. 

They say that more men struggle with pornography than women, but I don’t believe that. Even if women aren’t dealing with the same type of porn as men, their version can be found in the form of romantic movies and fantasy novels–films that give you the warm and fuzzies (romantic feelings) but are riddled with codependency and toxicity.

That’s why in today’s video, I want to talk to you about 5 toxic movies that God wants you to stop romanticizing.

But before we do, let’s lay the groundwork by talking about the myths that these ‘romantic’ movies portray.

These myths include:

  • If it’s true love, you’ll forgive and forget
  • You can’t help who you fall in love with
  • Love and addiction are one in the same
  • Miscommunication is normal and makes for a more romantic relationship
  • You need the other person to make you whole
  • Love conquers all (there is truth in that but not in the way we romanticize love. 
  • We all have a ‘soulmate’
  • Being chased is romantic. 
  • Constant fighting means we have passion. 
  • If I miss you, we must be meant to be together. 
  • And lastly – the payoff. Here’s where we believe that sticking with someone no matter what will have a big payoff, such as maybe hearing the words you were too good for me” on their death bed

Let’s dive into the 5 toxic movies God wants you to stop romanticizing:

1 – A Star Is Born

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper took the world by storm in the latest retelling of A Star is Born, but we can’t ignore the dangerous message it sends: that women should stay in abusive relationships. Ally continues to make excuses and sacrifices for Jackson because she feels like she owes him for her success. No matter how lightly she treads on those eggshells, or how much she loves him, she can’t save him from his demons. Instead of celebrating Ally’s achievements, Jackson spirals further into addiction and depression. There isn’t a happy ending to this tale, yet filmgoers were captivated by this “love story.”

This movie is riddled with breathtaking levels of codependency.

It’s a story about doing what feels right and not overthinking. The truth is, Ally would have done well to NOT trust her feelings and actually think about what she was getting into.

It’s time to stop confusing passion with abuse and look at stories like these as more of a cautionary tale of how NOT to be in a relationship.

Instead, Ally should have been strong boundaries in place to protect herself from Jackson’s behavior with the hopes to prompt him to change (not in a codependent way). At the very least, have enough respect for yourself to step away when someone refuses to get help, but I suppose that wouldn’t have made for a box office hit.

2 – Grease

I realize we are on the heels of the recent passing of the beloved Olivia Newton-John. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the movie created a toxic impression on young and old minds alike with its undercurrent of repression versus sexual freedom.

Behind the catchy songs, cool costumes, and pure nostalgia of Grease is a relationship that should have never gone beyond a summer fling. Gone is the sweet Danny Zuko from Sandy’s summer at the beach, and in his place is a rude misogynist who treats her terribly. First, he doesn’t want his friends to see them together, and then he tries to pressure her into sex when she says no.

The closing scene that sealed the movie was the most toxic of all, where Sandy changed into a cigarette-smoking bad girl to win over a boy.

If anyone should have done the changing, it should have been Danny but I guess 1 Corinthians 15:33 is spot on: Bad company corrupts good morals.

3 – Jerry Maguire

This movie is famous for more one-liners than any other toxic romance movie, from “Show me the money,” to, “You had me at hello,” to the ever-famous, “You complete me.”

Jerry is an overly ambitious narcissist with intimacy issues who constantly disrespects Dorothy, but she still blames herself.

This movie is the poster child for toxic co-dependency. With it’s never-ending, push-pull dynamic, it had more relationship red flags than a race track.

Dorothy admits to loving him for the man he almost is???

The rescue complex we see in both Dorothy and Jerry is a classic sign of codependency. At one point when Jerry realizes he’s alone without anyone to share his success, he rushes to Dorothy and delivers a heartfelt speech that moves an embittered support group of divorced women to tears and sighs.

Of course, a real support group might have thrown him out on his rear end and pointed out to Dorothy that healthy relationships aren’t about completing each other, but I digress.

My friend, when your identity is in Christ, you are already complete.

4 – The Notebook

I gotta confess, I liked this movie. Two teenagers from opposite sides of the tracks, Noah and Allie, have been held up as this ideal depiction of romance since The Notebook was released in 2004. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams even accepted their MTV Movie Award for “Best Kiss” with an epic makeout session — but when it comes down to it, this relationship is dangerous and destructive. Noah is obsessed, verbally abusive, resorts to emotional manipulation, and even threatens suicide. As the characters get older, I question whether they even really like each other. This would’ve been a better story had their love been nothing more than a summer fling.

While the ending of two people sharing their life together and never letting go is a beautiful romantic sentiment, the toxic volatility of their relationship makes it hard to believe that they were able to raise emotionally healthy children.

The intense passion in which they fought – and equal passion to ‘just get over it’ screams of avoidance and immaturity.

What The Notebook lacks is the everyday life issues in the middle–the growth and learning that it takes to mature into a couple who no longer has to rely on ‘passion’ to prove their love.

What’s interesting is The Notebook is based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, but in the original book, you don’t see the arguing and intensity that you see in the movie.

This captured me because it seems that people love to (dare I say, even need to) see that kind of intensity. Maybe because it gives them hope that their volatile relationships can have a happy ending too.

5 – Beauty and the Beast

Something is gratifying about seeing a redemption story played out on screen — but this “tale as old as time” is laden with problems although it’s wrapped in a happily ever after package. The Beast is temperamental, mean, and abusive. He was actually transformed into a beast because his heart lacked love and compassion. Belle is kept as a prisoner in the castle until he learns to love and breaks the curse. Does she give her life up to be with him because he is truly good underneath the gruff exterior? Or is it a case of Stockholm Syndrome (when victims fall in love with their abusers)? Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this relationship is that it gives its young audience a dangerous message: stay with your abuser; you can get them to change.

It’s a toxic message at its finest that keeps many women and men alike enduring poisonous people all in the name of love.

And there you go, these are the 5 movies you should stop romanticizing as Christians. If you’re ready to stop people-pleasing and start God-pleasing, check on my online course Conquering Codependency Biblically.

And if want to get to know the awesome creation that is you, grab your FREE What’s My Temperament guide to get you on the track to learning how fearfully and wonderfully made you are.

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