The overarching theme of the film, succinctly put by Harry, is that men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way. Even as two people in relationships, men and women can’t be friends: This is an amendment to the earlier rule... The person you're involved with can't understand why you need to be friends with the person you're just friends with. Like it means something is missing from the relationship and why do you have to go outside to get it? And when you say "No, no, no, no, it's not true, nothing is missing from the relationship," the person you're involved with then accuses you of being secretly attracted to the person you're just friends with.
It was at this scene that I turned my head to find TW nodding sagely: “He’s right. Women always think that.”
I thought about this for a moment, all ready to denounce such a daft claim, but then found I couldn’t. Much as I don’t want to, by and large I agree.
Because women do seem to get peculiarly jealous when it comes to their boyfriend’s female friends. I think it’s because they’re seen as a threat – which is particularly daft, really, because if he and she wanted to be sleeping together, you wouldn’t be dating him now, would you?
TW has plenty of female friends, and I have no intention of getting in between him and them. In fact, some of his female friends I’ve met and have now got to know, and thoroughly approve of, thankyouverymuch. Girls who can hold their red wine, and have intelligent discussions about Gerhard Richter are people I very much want to spend time with.
But my stance has no doubt been coloured by my experiences on the other side of the coin: more times than I care to remember, I’ve been the female friend who’s been edged out by a prickly girlfriend. No amount of rationally stating my case; getting very cross; or having my own boyfriend has convinced these women that left alone with their man I wouldn’t take the opportunity to jump him.
It’s ridiculous, frustrating – and, if you’ve been friends with said chap for a good long while before the girlfriend came along, painful. Why should you be down a great friend because some girl has got her insecurities in a twist? Of course, it takes two to wreck a friendship, and in these cases, it’s particularly aggravating when your friend of however many years won’t fight for your friendship against his girlfriend’s neuroses. It’s a powerful maxim, anything for a quiet life.
I’m not saying women are the only people at fault here, by the way. I’m sure there are plenty of possessive male types out there who’d rather tar and feather their girlfriend than have her hang out with a bevvy of boys. I’m just lucky enough never to have come across one – and if I did, I imagine he’d get pretty short shrift. My friends – male and female – are important to me, and I won’t have people dictate whom I’m allowed to spend time with; just as, I might add, I wouldn’t dream of doing to anyone else.
Because, whilst I might love the film in all its 80s-haired glory, I fundamentally disagree with its premise: men and women can be just good friends. And I have a few of them to prove it.
*Dear TW’s Boss: if you’re reading this, I’d be much obliged if you’d see fit to give him every week off. Or, at least, every other week. Because I like it when TW is in my house, baking endless brownies, and preparing exquisite and delectable dinners that are waiting for me when I get in from work. And once a girl’s been shown a manner to which she’d like to become accustomed, it’s mean to take it away again. Thanks ever so.