How Hollywood Has It Wrong: 3 Popular Movies with Relationship Red Flags

Each and every one of us is influenced by the world around us. In fact, research has found a correlation between avid romance movie watchers and relationship expectations. Many teenagers watch these movies, especially teenage girls. 

Woman in White Bed Holding Remote Control While Eating Popcorn Photo by from Pexels

So what kind of relationships is Hollywood influencing children to get into?


I decided to take a closer look at three popular romance movies on Netflix directed towards young adults. Here are the toxic traits that I found in each of the main relationships.



  • Tessa is already in a relationship while pursuing another relationship with Hardin. 
  • Hardin gets violent multiple times. While he doesn’t directly threaten or harm Tessa, this is still a red flag.
  • They move their relationship very fast. Hardin asks Tessa to move in with him within, what seems like, a few months. The movie doesn’t make a clear time jump.
  • Tessa cuts off her friends and family to be with Hardin.
  • It isn’t specifically stated whether Hardin supports her skipping class, but he is with her when she does. Tessa’s action of skipping classes is a red flag in the relationship. By isolating herself from her environment and focusing solely on Hardin, she is becoming dependent on him which is not healthy.
  • Tessa and Hardin have sex while Tessa is sober and Hardin is under the influence of alcohol. This could be considered rape since there was no consent given. Sure, maybe he initiated it, but he was under the influence and didn’t give sober consent.
  • The last relationship red flag that I want to point out is that Hardin made a bet with his friends for Tessa to fall in love with him. So, basically, the entire beginning of their relationship was a scam.


Kissing Booth 

  • Noah is a misogynist with toxic masculinity representing 90% of his personality.
  • Noah is constantly jealous and possessive of Elle. 
  • Noah starts unbuttoning Elle’s shirt and groping her without her consent. She stops him and then gives her consent, but he didn’t get it before getting handsy.
  • There are numerous times where Noah demands Elle to do something. Thankfully, she doesn’t always listen, but the majority of the time, she does.
  • Noah has a very violent temper. At one point, he slams on the vehicle’s hood to get Elle’s attention while demanding her to get in the car.


The Notebook

  • The way they meet! Noah manipulates Allie into dating him by threatening his own life.
  • He convinces her to do dangerous things. On their first date, they almost get hit by a car because Noah convinces Allie to trust him.
  • Noah makes fun of Allie on their first date because she isn’t as “free” as he thought she was.
  • Noah and Allie are constantly fighting.
  • Allie is physically abusive to Noah. She obviously hits, pushes, and slaps Noah numerous times.
  • Allie breaks up with Noah, but he sends her 365 letters following the break-up. That is a little past stalkerish in my opinion.
  • Noah never makes an attempt to move on. He clings onto the hope of reconnecting with Allie while playing with other girls’ hearts. While this may seem sweet at first glance, it may be a sign of an unhealthy obsession.
  • Lastly, Allie cheats on Lon right before their wedding.


Now, it is obvious that Hollywood makes movies with relationship red flags flown about like the American Flag on Independence Day. On top of that, these movies are setting a horrible example for young adults as to what healthy relationships are supposed to be. Teenagers see these movies that end happily ever after, and they strive for similar relationships.


But do we really want our young kids to have relationships filled with the toxic traits above? 

If you answered no, you might be asking what you can do. Sit down with your children, younger cousins, younger siblings, etc. and explain to them what relationship red flags look like. Maybe you can use these movies as examples of what relationships shouldn’t look like.


What happens if you or someone you know is in a toxic relationship? 

Remind the other person or yourself that nobody is alone in this. Many people have been in toxic relationships and successfully and safely gotten out. You can contact special services designed to help people in (emotionally or physically) dangerous situations in each state. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is also available 24/7.

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Remember, everyone can be a victim of toxic relationships, emotional abuse, and physical abuse despite gender or sexual orientation. You are not alone. Reach out. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.