We took a look some of cinema’s most iconic couples and realized, in retrospect, that we’ve been romanticizing some straight-up unhealthy fictional relationships. Read on: you won’t see these unhealthy movie and TV relationships the same way ever again.
Why We Swooned: At the movie’s end, bad-boy Danny Zuko puts his heart first and risks looking like a dork to win over Sandy. Danny and Sandy’s story gives us hope that a summer fling can turn into a long-term thing.
Why It Was Actually F'ed Up: Throughout the film, Danny humiliates Sandy in order to uphold his reputation. They eventually get together by changing who they are completely: good girl Sandy ditches her saddle shoes for cigarettes and Danny trades in his leather jacket for a letterman’s sweater. That’s not how love should work, is it?!
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Why We Swooned: Tortured, damaged Christian falls for innocent Ana and persuades her to become part of his BDSM lifestyle. Their story is sordid and sexy and kind of a turn on.
Why It Was Actually F'ed Up: Christian totally takes advantage of Ana, who is young and inexperienced. He low-key stalks her until she’s hooked, then proceeds to tell Ana what she can eat, how to dress and even how to groom her pubic hair. As if that isn’t enough, Christian buys the publishing firm that Ana works for because he needs to control every aspect of her life. He’s more than just a control-freak; he’s abusive.
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Why We Swooned: Beauty and The Beast is the epitome of the phrase, “Love conquers all.” Belle and the Beast overcome every imaginable obstacle to find love together. Be still, our elementary school hearts.
Why It Was Actually F'ed Up: The Beast captures Belle and holds her prisoner. He abuses her by shouting, throwing things at her and locking her up. Belle essentially develops Stockholm syndrome to “fall in love” with the Beast. When you think of it that way, the whole thing seems a little less romantic.
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Why We Swooned: Carrie and Big’s story is a modern classic. They kept us on the edge of our seats in “will they or won’t they?” anticipation for years until they finally got married and settled down—but not until the second Sex and the City movie.
Why It Was Actually F'ed Up: Big is Carrie’s perfect man in every way: he’s funny, rich and good in bed. One problem: he’s completely emotionally unavailable. Carrie chases him for years until he finally proposes, only to leave her at the altar! Theirs is not a relationship to idolize; in real life, if a man is that distant, you need to run.
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