Romanticization of mental illness in movies

Max Tiffany and Caitlin Grisham

      Mental illnesses are common in the real world, but only show up in movies when it’s a romance movie or show. Mental illnesses aren’t pretty, and take lots of coping methods and work to get through or to live with. Love can’t fix mental illnesses like magic. Illineses can take years to get over or they never overcome it and are stuck with them for their lifetime.

      It is very common in social media to see different types of mental illnesses capitalized. Some movies that aid in the romanticization of mental illnesses are adding a distorted filter on a false reality. 

       Mental illnesses aren’t all fun and games. There isn’t always a happy ending, or some sort of miracle called “love” that’s there to “fix” them. 

       A movie that does this is Suicide Squad. Their Harley Quinn and Joker show many signs of not only a toxic relationship, but emphasises that everything the Joker did to Harley is “ok” because he “loves” her.  

      Despite their illnesses not being a part of the plot, they’re identifiable. The Joker’s is antisocial personality disorder. Symptoms are: failure to obey laws and norms, warranting criminal arrest, lying, deception, manipulation for amusement or profit, impulsive behavior, irritability and aggression, assaulting others, blatant disregard for the safety of self and others, patterns of irresponsibility, and lack of remorse.

       Harley Quinn’s histrionic personality disorder. Symptoms are: being flirtatious or seductive, wanting to be the center of attention, provocative clothes (for women: low-cut tops, short skirts), shallow, impressionistic speech, dramatic and excessively emotional personal presentation, gullible, and overestimation of the intimacy of their social relationships.

        With the mixing of these mental illnesses, is there really love? Why would movie directors show something so toxic and unhealthy in such a romanticized way to a younger teen, adult, audience? The next time you watch a movie, or show where mental illness plays a role with the characters consider if it’s overly romanticized to sell movie tickets or not.