Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind was my first problematic fave. The romance between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler is made for book club discussions.
The problematic romances of the modern chick flick definitely stole a page or two from this classic by Maragaret Mitchell. The storyline is essentially – man is mean to woman; woman is mean to man. They do a performance of hating each other because they really LOVE EACH OTHER AND ARE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER – DUH.
Other 90s/ noughties movies that follow this story line are 27 Dresses, The Proposal, Drive Me Crazy, and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days… to merely name a few.
I blame Rhett Butler for my first five years of dating in which I could somehow transform every fault, every mean comment, every cancelled plan into a symbol of how we were meant to be together. But I just couldn’t help it. Rhett Butler is quite simply a babe. The deep tan, the perfected mustache, the slicked back hair, the smirky smile. Every time he uttered an insult/ confession of love such as ‘Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn,’ I was completely hooked.
I dreamed of the day where he would kiss me passionately by the staircase, and we would live a life of love/ hatred together. Because if I set my expectations low, I might never truly be happy but at least I’d look amaze in my taffeta gown with my aggressive heartthrob by my side.
Did your book club also find the Rhett/ Scarlet romance to be problematic? Were you as obsessed with The Butler as I was? Are there any other problematic faves for you in literature?