My roommate and I were flipping channels recently and stopped on Sleepless in Seattle (which I had never actually seen). While I did find Tom Hanks to be somewhat amusing, the Romantic Comedy Formula got to me after awhile. Until, I actually realized that Sleepless in Seattle actually pretty much invented the formula. Unless you go back to It Happened One Night, which still does it way better than any movie ever.
The problem with The Formula is that I believe it has ruined most Americans view of how courtships and relationships should probably be. And, I know this sounds awful but I'm gonna say it anyway, I think at least 85% of women fall victim to this. Maybe it's just people I talk to, but I know several single women who constantly complain about why the dude they are into is just sitting on his hands every day, even though they claim to have sent out all the "signals."
There is the problem, as I once detailed in a long-since deleted blog post aptly titled "Lloyd Dobler is a Made-Up Person." For those who may not know, Lloyd Dobler is the name of the character played by John Cusack in Say Anything, the guy who held his boom box over his head, playing Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" to impress Ione Skye. The sad thing? It worked, and they flew off to London together, despite being 18 years-old.
Thing is, movies like this fill people with the silly idea that these things can/may/will happen to them. That is why my single female friends send out signals, but don't actually do anything. They are waiting for the dude to sweep them off their feet. That's not horrible in itself, but the dude is probably thinking, "Man, I don't want to make a mistake and look stupid." I'm a man and I'm all for taking charge, but there seems to be an honesty gap here, which is not necessarily due to Tom Hanks and John Cusack, but they certainly haven't helped.