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Trophy Girlfriend Syndrome:
Relationships as Rewards in Action-Adventure Movies and Why it Pisses Me Off

Recently, my roommate and I saw Captain America. It was a fairly entertaining action-adventure movie, and I didn’t regret having spent my time on it. When the roommate and I were discussing it after the fact, I really only had one major complaint: it could have done without the romantic subplot.

This is something I’ve found myself saying about action-adventure movies a lot recently. My otherwise positive perception of Thor was significantly impacted by the unnecessary and awkward romantic sub-plot, and my strongest reaction when I walked out of Transformers: Dark of the Moon was “Fuck Carly.”

Now, I could rant on and on about the dearth of respectable female characters in action-adventure movies. I could rail about how you can have a strong, interesting, complex character as a star or co-star of an action-adventure flick and have her be female. This is fertile ground for that sort of anger, and I have no doubt I’d be recapitulating sentiments expressed a thousand times by a thousand people more eloquent and educated than I. It’s a very real problem in Hollywood, this perception that only guys can be badass action stars, and it needs to stop.

But I was talking to my roommate about my reaction to Captain America and I realized that as much as I could rant about the female presence in these movies, there’s something else that bothers me just as badly as lackluster female characters, and that’s gratuitous and poorly written romantic subplots.

Wanna know why? Click the cut for a discussion at length. )

Thanks for reading.
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