Movies have taught me a few valuable lessons.

There may be a train platform in between numbers 9 and 10 in London's King's Cross Station. If two men are fighting for your attention, and one is very pale and the other is Native American, well, watch out—they may not be men at all, especially if one smells like wet dog.

And the lead girl always, always gets the guy.

I watched Bridesmaids this weekend, about two months behind the rest of the world. I read up on it beforehand: Dana Stevens at Slate called it a "giddy feminist manifesto." Watching the film is a "social responsibility," claimed Rebecca Traiester at Salon, an opportunity to "persuade Hollywood that multidimensional women exist, spend money and deserve to be represented on film." (Michelle Dean at The Awl disagreed, noting that all the conversations in the film about weddings were still really about men.)

Maybe it is a feminist film, especially if feminism in film means men make hardly any screen appearances and are primarily asses when they do (I'm talking to you, Jon Hamm).

But it seems odd that this giddy feminism would result in the same formulaic rom-com result as The Devil Wears Prada, Pretty Woman, The Proposal, and about every other romantic comedy I can think of having watched in my lifetime.

Annie (Kristen Wiig) has a life in shambles. Her cake business (and dating relationship) went under in the recession, she drives a beat-up car and lives with a British brother and sister and, after they kick her out, her mom. She loses her second job at a jewelry store for mouthing off to potential customers, and has an ongoing sleeping arrangement as a playboy's "number three." When she meets a quality man—a vaguely Irish police officer who pulls her over for a ticket—they hit it off. But she walks out on him, afraid to commit to a nice guy (or so she tells her friend, Lillian, on the phone). Yet in the end (spoiler alert!), after Lillian's nearly-spoiled wedding comes off, Annie and her dream man ride off in the squad car to their happily ever after.

As an example of every chick flick that has ever been, this teaches me two things, neither of which are I think true:

(1) Your dream man will let you walk all over him, then take you back when you ask.

(2) Every happy ending starts with a man.

I have little expertise with which to respond to the first point. I can only say this may not be the case. Some things cannot be rebuilt once broken, and trust is very hard—sometimes impossible—to regain when lost. Even the lead woman may irrevocably lose a man, even a good one, with particularly idiotic behavior.

The second point is demonstrably false. Having a man is not a precursor or parallel requirement to building a fulfilling life. I am not half a person scouring the world for my better half; I am a full human being, whether a man is by my side or not.

Lauren Winner addresses this problem well in Real Sex, and in far more detail than I can share here.

"I have often wondered why we use 'single' as a noun," she writes. "Perhaps no other marker of identity should be a noun other than Christian, since that is the most fundamental identity any of us claim."

The most important question we should ask each other, Winner says, is not, "Who are you dating?" but rather, "How is God calling you to be faithful now as you are?"

Faith in Jesus can free us from using our relationship status as a measurement of our worth. In the words of my cheesy freshman class t-shirt, our relationship status is defined by Christ.

Many if not most readers might agree with this in theory or even in practice. But the pop culture world does little to emphasize it. When every on-screen woman finds her happy ending in a man, what's a single girl to do but assume that her happy ending is just not here yet?

Where are the rest of the women? Where are the women who find happy endings by themselves—either through losing a good guy, grieving, and moving on, or just never finding him in the first place? There's hardly any pop culture image of what it looks like to be a happy single woman. This is somewhat surprising, given that five years ago, more than half of American women were living without a spouse. You would think that Hollywood would capitalize on stories that real women can relate to. Then again, it's not that surprising. Singleness continues to be seen both outside and inside the church as a waystation, a stopping point between college and marriage on the path toward real adulthood and happiness.

Although there are signs of change, evangelical churches have by and large dropped the ball on encouraging women (and men) to embrace singleness as a fulfilling way of life, whether it lasts a short period or indefinitely. The world of pop culture has apparently dropped the ball as well.

Feminism on film could be paving the way for a healthier understanding of happy endings, one that reflects the fact that women are fearfully and wonderfully made persons whose value does not hinge on having a man by their side. Instead, it's giving us fart jokes and Judd Apatow lite.