Friday, July 20, 2018

7 Ways Hollywood Gets Romance Right!---No Really!

I feel like I ought to duck my head because you might throw apples after this next statement.  I like romance movies. No barfing on my blog please! Hear me out first. While there is a whole lot about real-life romance and love that Hollywood gets wrong, there are some things that Hollywood gets absolutely right.  While there may be a lot of poor examples of on screen romance and what true love should be, there are reasons this genre needs to survive and thrive. If you're still with me and able to reserve the inner critic enough to analyze my ideas, we might find some common ground.

When my husband wants to go see a movie, I look for drama, comedy, and romance. Sci-fi is difficult because I prefer something I can relate to. You might be thinking that the romance you see coming from Hollywood is so NOT real life and is totally unrelateable. You might not like romance because it deals with wildly exaggerated love in a sentimental, idealized, mythical kind of way.

Yet, Hollywood does get some romance right!  Look deep within your heart and see if you agree.

First, are you not wanting someone to woo your heart? Are you not wanting someone to tell you that you are worth a good chase? Are you not wanting someone to be driven crazy by the fact that they can't live without you? Are you not wanting someone to be obvious in showing you they love you? John Dunbar in Dances with Wolves abandons his entire past to fight the Union Army. His path to her heart requires him to learn her language and how to hunt bison. Are you not wanting someone willing to fight the entire Union Army and Sioux Indians to remain with you under his teepee?  The pursuit of  another's heart takes living with abandon, leaving behind some of our comfortable routines. It's a worthy and often arduous pursuit.

Second, don't you feel that you want to be rescued at times? There are those points in life when you just wish you could pass the weight of it onto someone else's shoulders or at least that someone would share the weight of it. Once in a while, don't we all need Pride and Prejudice's Mr Darcy to ride in on his horse and take care of the mess Mr. Wickham and Lydia have made of life. Don't you want someone who is a recliner or phone call away when the dishwasher breaks and the car won't start and the kids have no idea how their crying and complaining is making all that broken down stuff seem a thousand times worse.  They may not be able to fix it, but you love them all the more for trying to salvage your sanity.

Sometimes, we even want to be protected, physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually.  We might follow like a puppy dog after the one who defends our hearts.  We might not care if we don't have millions if we can be harbored from the storms that come.   Like Baby in Dirty Dancing, we might not be scared anymore but just might have the time of our lives and feel like we could change the world.  Johnny defends Frances' honor when he warns those at the table, "Nobody puts Baby in the corner." This kind of protection is a spiritual union because in being vulnerable enough to allow someone close enough to see and defend your heart, you reciprocate in giving them strength just as Johnny professes that Frances made him a better man.

Don't we just want someone who gets us: the good, the bad, the ugly. We want someone to seek to know the real us, our passions, our quirks, our dreams, our habits, our character, our mistakes and then still stick around, curious to know more.  We want someone who knows this is the real world where we make mistakes we aren't proud of, where there is imperfect family history, where we have glaring idiosyncrasies that might border on annoying, where we are driven by passions we want to enjoy and develop.  We want someone to be intrigued enough by who we are, faults and all, not a mirage of perfection. In The Proposal, Andrew's journey of discovery of the guarded, almost stoic Margaret, helps her to thaw to realize that even with all her baggage, she is worthy of being loved.

Don't you want someone to be mesmerized by your uniqueness?  We all know there are days when it's our uniqueness that is most annoying; but ultimately, we want someone to smile and tolerate it when it brews. In Anne with an E, (television series based on Anne of Green Gables)there are many days Gilbert is clearly confused by Anne's antics and incessant love of words and talking, but in time, he is clearly drawn in by her nature, fascinated by her enthusiasm for life. Keep pondering your mate with those same eyes. Often, underneath that thing that is bothering you about your partner is the very thing that attracted you to them.

Don't we want someone who realizes life may get messy and tough, yet they still vow to stay? The warning note to young love is that real love means you will be happy and content all the time.  A good marriage isn't one in which all is happy all the time. A good union is one that realizes that difficulty will occur but finds a way to grow together through it. Romance and love require a lifetime of tending and care. Changes in the course of a lifetime are really chances at becomings---becoming someone better or worse. When difficulties arises, and they will, our struggles and near exasperation with the antics of human nature will drive us to our knees.  In The Notebook, no viewer who understands the disease is fooled by the ease with which Noah deals with Allie's Alzheimers. As in life, we are romanced by the companionship of these two. They may also find the reassurance that when you recall the love you share that you can do anything to be a bit melodramatic. Yet, that is the truth of real life.  As companions, you must continually be called back to remembering to love well.  We know that not everything wraps us neatly with struggles easily overcome.  Some dreams die, some people die, some love dies.  Like all love stories, their story is epic, but it is not without tragic parts.

Lastly, we want someone to build a dream with.  You might call me a dreamer since I see the romance in things. Well, you better learn to dream a lot because in real life building dreams together is what binds you together. In our current culture, we're all about building our own thing, creating separate lives. We better learn to build bridges to one another.  Building dreams, the twisting together of strands of life, strengthens the cord. In This Is Us, Rebecca realizes she and Jack can't build a life together if Jack struggles silently and alone with alcoholism. She tells him she shouldn't have let him leave because that's not what they do. She tells him to get in the car to go home, and that if they have a problem that they will fix it together. Building a dream together might start after something was broken, but with work, great might come from the bad.

After all this, you might think that I'm living in fairy tale land. For certain, I've been the Beauty and the Beast, but I still live for the romance. I still want the feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. I think the pursuit of some of these elements of romance found in Hollywood are necessary. I am still lured by a siren song to love well and woo my husband's heart. I don't think my description of real life romance and love is wildly exaggerated. Most of us realize we need to work to exaggerate the romance and be more sentimental, and that's how I know that Hollywood gets some things right.

In Real Life


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