My oldest daughter and I have a date this weekend. We plan to take a couple of hours to watch a movie. Between her college classes, her job, my job, and my other kids (forget about the house), we rarely have the time to do something alone together. Since we have the same taste in movies, we will likely choose a romantic flick. Anything by Ryan Gosling will probably rank high on her list. Or James Franco. For me, as long as the story is good and believable with that certain blend of realism and profoundness mixed with lifelong soulmate stuff thrown in for good measure, I’m happy. But are we choosing this genre because we like it, or are we simply cold and craving some warmth?
A new study claims the latter.
According to a report in the Journal of Consumer Research, there is a distinct connection between choosing to watch romantic movies and being cold. In the study, the authors tested a prediction that romance movies are more desirable when people are physically cold, because coldness activates a need for psychological warmth:
“We often think of love as being warm. This link between love and warmth appears in everyday language, songs, and poems,” write authors Jiewen Hong (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) and Yacheng Sun (University of Colorado, Boulder). “But is the connection between romantic love and warmth just a metaphor or is there indeed a direct link between romance and physical warmth?”
Participants who drank cold tea were more likely than people who drank warm tea to choose romance movies over movies from other genres. In another study, the researchers varied the temperature in the room where participants were seated and found the same results.
It’s a kooky notion for sure. I mean, I’m sure that there are many people in warm places, like Florida, that love romantic movies just as much as the next gal, despite the warm temperatures.
Romantic movies are usually always my first choice. I am a sucker for them, I’ll admit it. I also love romantic books in the summer and the winter. Against all odds stories are my thing, finding true love plots inspire me, and the funnier the better. I can watch It’s Complicated any time I flip through the channels and find it… at any point of the movie. I can do the same with The Bridges of Madison County and Falling in Love (Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro from years and years ago that I watched with my own mother- must see!) Sure, it’s escapism at its best and not every one shares my views, but to me, it’s harmless fun.
Titanic and Love Story both came out in December but the hideously popular The Notebook premiered in June. Still there is something to be said about curling up under the covers with a hot cup of cocoa and watching your favorite romance, and that’s something you just won’t do when it’s 95 and humid.
What do you think? Do you find yourself watching more romantic movies when it’s cold outside? What’s your favorite romantic movie? Or is this study for the birds?