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    The New Happily Ever After

    Excerpted from
    Cinematherapy for Lovers: The Girl's Guide to Finding True Love One Movie at a Time
    By Nancy Peske, Beverly West

    Since movies were invented they have been as much a part of our collective dating and mating game as candy, flowers, Frank Sinatra ballads, and big church weddings. In fact, movies may well be one of the most effective tools for achieving and maintaining romance ever created.

    When love is new and we're feeling shy and awkward, movies give us something in common to talk about, and something to think about besides whether or not the ribbed sweater we're wearing makes us look fat.

    When we're in the mood to feed the flames, movies help us to ignite or rekindle the sparks of passion. And when we're ready to get serious about someone, movies give us the promise of happily ever after at the end of that long march down the aisle, or warn us about the high cost of letting true love pass us by.

    Later on, when we're trying to work through issues together, or rediscover the romance in a long-term relationship, movies put us back in touch with what brought us together in the first place. And when we're going through the stress of planning a wedding or breaking up, or we're in the midst of an emotional winter, far removed from the fires of passion, movies comfort us, letting us know that we're all right on our own, and that love will find us again in the springtime.

    So whether you're single and need encouragement to go out there and find your Prince Charming, or dating and wondering whether you've found Mr. Right or just Mr. Right Now, or in a long-term relationship where you both need to talk about your part in a problematic dynamic, this is the book for you. Because when it comes to love troubles, we women know that movies are more than entertainment-they're self-medication that, when properly administered, can cure anything from the I'll-never-find-a-decent-guy blues to the seven-year itch to whatever-did-we-see-in-each-other amnesia.

    As you choose films recommended in Cinematherapy for Lovers: The Girl's Guide to Finding True Love One Movie at a Time, you can watch them together with your lover or alone. Some of these films will give you the courage to say and do what's necessary to take control of your love life. Some will help you broach difficult topics with your partner. And others will have you feeling grateful that at least you haven't created the dysfunctional disaster that the lovers on-screen have.

    Need a little encouragement to go and meet Prince Charming halfway? Watch Next Stop Wonderland and be reassured that despite that seemingly endless stream of frogs you keep meeting, there's a wonderful man just a few lily pads over. Having trouble finding the key to your man's psyche? Watch an Understanding Your Man Movie like Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and unlock your international man of mystery's secret code. Frustrated by your special someone's inability to make a commitment? Watch a Hook, Line, and Sinker Movie like Shrek together and seal the deal.

    No matter what your relationship status is, Cinematherapy for Lovers will suggest the perfect movie to help you talk about the issues in your relationship, and help you over the hurdles on the road to real life happily ever after. Then again, in our Happily Never After sidebar series, we'll also tell you about movies that may seem to be very romantic, but under the surface have such psychologically dubious messages about relationships that if you take them seriously they'll send you on a detour to the nearest heartbreak hotel. We also include sidebars like Bev's Culinary therapy, which features appropriate repasts for even romantic occasion; Nancy's Momentous Minutiae, with trivia that under closer inspection tells us a lot about the issue at hand, Hoopskirt Dreams, spotlighting movies that'll inspire you to develop a go-get-'em-gal wardrobe; and much, much more. Cinematherapy for Lovers will help you find and maintain a healthy and vital relationship with a couch mate for life, and all by spending a few quality hours of downtime together.

    So start the popcorn popping, snuggle up, and solve your every romantic dilemma without ever having to leave your sofa.

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