Review: It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

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4.5/5 stars!

“You can’t help your feelings. But you can choose what to do about them. 

I am literally standing up right now, wildly clapping my hands in frenzied adoration and reverence to that most wonderful, powerful conclusion to a supposedly romantic story. Seriously. I could still feel goosebumps all over. Just *sighs*

But wait, did I just say romantic? I guess I did even though the main purpose of the book is to contradict everything about romantic movies. It’s actually a blatant deconstructive analysis of romantic movies proving that real life romance is completely different. Holly Bourne definitely has all the right to say that It Only Happens in the Movies.

Let’s quickly look at some of the points of the novel about the flaws of romantic flicks through actual excerpts from the book:

The female character: “They’re always crazy perfect skinny, even though they’re supposedly always munching down burgers and chocolate.”

The chance encounter: “Everyone is always bumping into everyone. Forget statistical probabilities. Nope. Their love beats mathematics.”

The kiss: “Grand gesture kisses. One where they hire out a baseball field, or stop a party to make a huge speech or something. Essentially kisses where there is applause from random members of the public.”

Ending: “They tend to end way too early. The movie either ends when the couple gets together, or someone dies before you can see the relationship develop.”

Essentially, the story proves how almost every element of romantic movies is unrealistic through Audrey’s personal (firsthand and secondhand) experiences which she actually documents for her thesis. Why had I not thought about this topic for my thesis?

Ms. Holly Bourne is definitely back and I’m a little pissed because she ruined my favorite romantic movies for me. But honestly, her strength as a person and as a writer shines brightly in this novel making me one solid admirer.

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