We Don't Date Anymore: How The Hook-Up Culture Is Killing Hollywood

by Dan Scotti

Could you imagine if Hollywood reissued a 2015 version of “The Notebook?”

Here, I’ll paint the scene: A humble young startup worker falls madly in love with a rich fashion blogger, only to find out her parents don’t approve of their newly blossoming romance -- or the fact that their daughter isn’t dating someone working in finance or law -- and so they move her away, entirely.

Determined to remain in contact and ultimately prove his undying love for her, the dude writes her 365 e-mails -- one a day, for an entire year – except she never gets the chance to read any of them since her mom is extra conniving and blocked his f*cking e-mail address.

Yeah, it doesn’t have quite the same charm as the original -- but that’s kind of representative of the times. Sh*t ain’t getting much more charming in the year 2015.

Sure, things are getting quicker; things are getting easier, but, let’s be real: There’s certainly been a shift of focus over the past few decades.

At some point, “charming” gave way to “convenience,” and we’ve seen this concept apply to many different facets of our lives, including our relationships.

And while, with most things, convenience usually leads to a better experience -- I can’t really say it does the same with matters of romance.

I don’t believe there is a “quick” or “easy” way to go about romance.

I think that’s the fundamental problem with -- and driving force behind -- the whole “hook-up culture” we engage in today. People don’t want to put in the work that was once required by relationships; we don’t want commitment.

We want Tinder on which we can sit on our couch and swipe right for hours on end.

We want relationships in which we don’t have to pick up the phone to call -- let alone show up in person -- to say, “I love you.”

And, honestly, I feel like it’s taking away from a lot of the aspects of love that made it desirable in the first place.

I’m sure we’ve all seen movies, much like “The Notebook” (yeah, I’ve watched this movie numerous times with numerous different girlfriends), in which romance is the star of the show, before any individual character.

Today, that’s hardly the case with relationships -- even off the silver screen.

Today, love has become an activity two people participate in -- in the free time of their own agenda. See, commitment has declined in exchange for “hook ups” because “hook ups” are very egocentric things.

When you tell your friends you hooked up with someone, you’ll probably take a slightly braggadocious tone and boast about it like you would any of your other accomplishments.

That’s far from love though; love necessitates vulnerability and faith in something bigger than you. It’s the opposite of egocentric; you begin to think of someone else first.

Aside from our own (real) love lives taking a hit from this “hook-up culture,” Hollywood has, too. Come to think of it, “The Notebook” is probably the last romance movie I’ve seen.

Granted, I’ve been out of a relationship for quite some time now; I really haven’t gotten the urge to hit the cinema for a romantic comedy.

And probably because I know it wouldn’t be relevant to actual dating situations in real life -- or at least the ones I deal with.

Unless a new flick about how to successfully slide in your crush’s DM was hitting theatres this Thanksgiving, I don’t really see the purpose of wasting two hours (and $20 for popcorn and a soda), however, I can’t fully say I’m not envious of generations past, spending aside.

I mean, at least my father had somewhat of a model to follow, with regard to dating and romance in general.

Who knows, maybe he saw “West Side Story” and put together a little choreographed routine that ultimately won the heart of my mom over -- it could’ve happened.

Regardless, Hollywood provided the youth with at least a somewhat accurate depiction of what women wanted -- and men alike -- through romantic films.

It’s simply faded out today. And even from a consumer standpoint, Hollywood has taken a hit from the advancement of the “hook-up culture.”

The other day my mom sent me a little bit of money and told me to “go take a nice girl out for a movie”; I laughed.

That must’ve been nice, huh? Back in the day, first dates were almost spelled out for you -- if you took a young lady out to the movies, you couldn’t go wrong.

I could only imagine the response I’d get if I ever pulled the “You wanna go see a movie?” card out at the bar. Movies don’t have the same pizzazz they once did.

Especially since hook-up culture doesn’t allow much room for second dates or dating in general -- it’s usually just, “Let’s meet for drinks and take it from there.”

I’m not sure if it’s the chicken or the egg with this scenario. Has the hook-up culture eliminated the need for romance in Hollywood?

Or has the dissolution of romance in Hollywood transitioned into everyday life and the beginnings of the hook-up culture?

I’m not sure, but I do know one thing for certain: If Tinder existed back when the original “Notebook” setting took place, I doubt the Ryan Gosling character would’ve penned more than one or two notes before swiping right and saving himself the work.