Katy Perry
Written by Katy Perry
Greg Wells
Produced by Greg Wells
vocals by
Katy Perry
Length 4:01
from the album TD-Logo
Singles "California Gurls"
"Teenage Dream"
"Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F)"
"The One That Got Away"
"Hummingbird Heartbeat" (radio only)
"Part of Me"
"Wide Awake"
Digital single(s) "Not Like the Movies"
"Circle the Drain"

"Not Like the Movies" is a song by Katy Perry from her third studio album Teenage Dream. It was written by Perry, and long time collaborator, Greg Wells. The song was released as the first promotional single for the Countdown to Katy Perry's Teenage Dream on August 3, 2010. Lyrically, the song is about a girl contemplates her first time and how "it wasn't right". She realizes through that experience that her "prince" is still "out there" waiting for her. It was written when Perry first started dating her then-husband, Russell Brand.

The song received positive reviews from music critics, some of whom called it a powerful and lovely song, as well a contemplative ballad, but noticed that the song's lyrics make only minimal reference to Perry then-husband, Russell Brand. The song achieved moderate success, peaking at number 53 on US Billboard Hot 100 chart and at number 41 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart. Perry performed the song on her California Dreams Tour (2011). She also did a performance of the song at the 53rd Grammy Awards on February 13, 2011.


In an interview with YouTube about Teenage Dream in August 2010, Perry revealed that "Not Like the Movies" was the first song she wrote for the album after she finished her Hello Katy Tour. Production and additional writing to song were done by Greg Wells, who previously worked with the singer on her second studio album, One of the Boys. Perry considers it to be like that of a two-part song because she had started working on "Not Like the Movies" before she met Russell Brand, and completed it after they began dating. She started the song when she was 19, where she only had the piano melody written. She stated it is a "really special" song to her because, at the first part of the track, it is a story that she needed to let out, which was claiming to know something that you do not actually know. Perry later expressed relief at being able to put all of her feelings into the song.

Inspiration for the song

Reception and chart performance

Critical reviews for song have been mostly favorable. Bill Lamb of commented that it's "another powerful song and this time slows things down for a contemplative ballad". Chris Ryan of MTV said the song is "rather lovely", but noted that its lyrics refers "very little" to Perry's husband, Russell Brand. Elysa Gardner of USA Today called the song an "irresistible power ballad" and recommended readers to purchase the song. A staff writer for Portrait Magazine stated that "Not Like the Movies" was a great way to end Teenage Dream and that it showcases the singer's voice quite well, as she has "lyrics to work for instead of ones to just play around with." The reviewer concluded that it was a "really good song."

Although the song was distributed as a promotional single, it still managed to enter music charts based on legally paid digital download sales. For the week ending August 11, 2010, "Not Like the Movies" debuted at number 53 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and stayed on the chart for only one week. It also managed to enter another Billboard component chart, the Hot Digital Songs, where the song found its peak at number twenty-two selling 57,000 digital downloads. On the Canadian Hot 100, the song's highest position was at number forty-one.

Live performances

Perry included the song on her setlist for her 2011 world concert tour entitled California Dreams Tour. For performances of the song, she would sit on a flower-entwined bower swing that rises up to reveal a large white bridal train that flows out to complete the entire backdrop. At the same time, a bubble machine started-up and the bed-sheet hanging behind her showed footage of cartoon animals falling in love. In The Arizona Republic's Ed Masley's review of one of her concerts, he said her performance of "Not Like the Movies" was "sweet".

The song was also performed live during the 53rd Grammy Awards. Dressed in a sparkly pale-pink, "princess-like" dress and wearing glittery make-up, Perry sat on a swing that continued to rise high above the stage as she sung the lyrics to "Not Like the Movies". During the same performance, as she sang "when he’s the one/I’ll come undone," home-movie footage of her wedding to Russell Brand was projected on the curtain draps placed behind the singer.[16] This was the first time that footage was shown. MTV News reporter Mawuse Ziegbe called it a "heartfelt tribute". Claire Suddath of Time magazine said the "Valentine's Day–themed performance coupled with Perry's wedding footage made-up for the swing that looked like a high school–yearbook photo backdrop". She gave it a Suddath "B+" rating. The Star Tribune's Jon Bream gave it a B grade.


He put it on me, I put it on
Like there was nothing wrong
It didn't fit, it wasn't right
Wasn't just the size
They say you know when you know
I don't know

I didn't feel the fairytale feeling, no
Am I a stupid girl
For even dreaming that I could

If it's not like the movies
That's how it should be, yeah
When he's the one, I'll come undone
And my world will stop spinning
And that's just the beginning, yeah

Snowwhite said when I was young,
"One day my prince will come"
So I wait for that date
They say it's hard to meet your match
Gotta find my better half
So we make perfect shapes

If stars don't align
If it doesn't stop time
If you can't see the sign
Wait for it
One hundred percent
Worth every penny spent
He'll be the one that finishes your sentences

If it's not like the movies
That's how it should be, yeah
When he's the one, I'll come undone
And my world will stop spinning
And that's just the beginning, yeah

'Cause I know you're out there
And you're, you're looking for me, oh
It's a crazy idea that
You were made perfectly for me, you see

Just like the movies
That's how it will be
Cinematic and dramatic
With the perfect ending, ooh

It's not like the movies
But that's how it should be, yeah
When he's the one, you'll come undone
And your world will stop spinning
And it's just the beginning