Gilmartin's work has revealed that Love Shy men prefer a different genre of movie than their non-shy counterparts. When asked to list movies Love Shy men have watched at the theatre at least five times, some movies stood out.
For example, one 39-year old love-shy man had seen the 1973 film JEREMY 86 times, at least in part because he was so overwhelmed by the appearance of the star, Glynnis O'Connor.
The plot is more important to the Love Shy male than the actress involved.
On the other hand, "10" was one of the comparatively few films which a small number of the self-confident non-shys had seen multiple times. The non-shys had loved it whereas the love-shys hated it—despite the fact that both groups agreed with the premise that Bo Derek is an extremely beautiful woman.
Most of the loveshys had found it to be dreadfully boring because it contained an unstructured, highly confusing story with no love or romance. Simply put, it did not engross the emotions. It did not touch the heartstrings.
The top five movies were as follows (keeping in mind that this study was done in the 80's)
1. Jeremy (1973) 86 times.
2. David and Lisa (1962) 46 times.
3. Forbidden Games (1952) 44 times.
4. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1965) 37 times.
5. The Graduate (1967) 29 times.
Plot summaries of the movies have been sourced from IMDb and show a relatively consistent theme in the popular movies.
Jeremy Jones is learning Cello at an arts school in New York. At school he spots Susan Rollins, who practices for a ballet audition, and he falls in love on first sight. He's very diffident in nearing her, so he gets some help of his experienced friend Ralph. Susan's first impression isn't great, until she hears him play his Cello. The movie paints a quiet image of him winning her heart and the development of their relationship.
David and Lisa
The emotional story of a young man in a mental institution for teens who begins to understand his psychosis in the environment of others with mental and emotional problems. He finds intimacy with Lisa, a young woman suffering from schizophrenia.
A girl of perhaps five or six is orphaned in an air raid while fleeing a French city with her parents early in World War II. She is befriended by a pre-adolescent peasant boy after she wandered away from the other refugees, and is taken in for a few weeks by his family. The children become fast friends, and the film follows their attempt to assimilate the deaths they both face, and the religious rituals surrounding those deaths, through the construction of a cemetery for all sorts of animals. Child-like and adult activity are frequently at cross-purposes, however.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Geneviève, 17, lives with her widowed mother, who owns an umbrella shop in Cherbourg. She and Guy, a twenty-year-old auto mechanic, are secretly in love and want to marry, but when she reveals this to her mother, her mother objects on the grounds that Geneviève is too young and Guy is not mature or well-established enough, particularly since he has not yet done his required military service. Shortly after this, Guy is drafted to serve in the war in Algeria. Before he leaves, he and Geneviève consummate their love for each other, which results in her becoming pregnant. While Guy is away they drift apart, and Geneviève, strongly encouraged by her mother, accepts a marriage proposal from a well-to-do gem dealer named Roland Cassard, who has fallen in love with her at first sight and has promised to bring up her child as his own. (The character of Cassard is continued from Demy's earlier film [i]Lola[/i] (1961).) Guy is wounded and is discharged before his two-year term is up, but when he returns to Cherbourg Geneviève has already married and moved away. He struggles with depression and anger, but eventually is healed by falling in love with and marrying Madeleine, a young woman who had been caring for his now-deceased aunt Élise. Using an inheritance from his aunt, Guy fulfills his ambition of opening a service station. Years later, the now conspicuously wealthy Geneviève, traveling with her daughter, Guy's child, accidentally meet Guy at his service station. While the two have only a brief conversation about the state of their respective lives, the conversation is clearly fraught with unspoken fondness and regret.
Benjamin Braddock returns home to California after successfully completing college. He gets a hero's welcome from his parents but Ben isn't quite sure what to do with the rest of his life. He is soon seduced by Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father's partner, who methodically pursues the inexperienced young man. Soon, they are meeting regularly in hotel rooms. Warned by her to stay away from her daughter Elaine, his father goads him into taking her out on a date. He finds he quite likes Elaine but when she learns he's been having an affair with her own mother, she'll have nothing to do with him. He's smitten however and pursues her.