While everyone was dreaming of the handsome cruel James Spader or the cool but on the fence Andrew McCarthy …I was hoping the girl in Pink would end up with Duckie ….I think by the time she realized her mistake, he was happily in love and married to another creative awesome girl.
I was always glad that Ilsa went off with Victor instead of staying with Rick, who wants to live above a smokey bar in Morocco with a man who stays up all night?
When I first saw Katie fall for Hubble, I was right with her …but after several viewings (the first film I watched more than 25 times all in the theater…I was addicted) …I thought wow…he is good for a first love, but that was never going to be enduring ..right?
and of course, the one story so often told up to the point they finally get together …the bad boy gets the good girl when he does the right thing at the last moment …..and then what? ….Well..then you have John Norman (or Norman Maine) and Esther Hoffman (or Blodgett) ….When the bad boy can only stay good until his next drink, gamble, robbery, fight…whatever it is …
so help us Hollywood …How do we get love RIGHT?
Moonstruck (1987, dir: Norman Jewison) — Haven’t we all felt cursed in love? At one time or another we just say, fine…I attract the wrong thing, make the wrong choices. Love is not for me…Oh? Its just me? Okay..fine…..I loved the generational romantic relationships in this film (it helps me pass over the idea of Cher as normal and scruffily), the actual conversations about romance, love and commitment.
Now, Voyager (1942, dir: Irving Rapper) – One of my favorite films that I will watch again and again still enjoying every moment of Bette Davis on screen …I can’t agree that its the most romantic of endings….I always sort of hope things get more on track ….but I do love the story, the strength of characters, the idea of knowing your limitations and moving ahead together anyway.
Desk Set (1957, dir; Walter Lang) — I’m going to pick Desk Set, but have to side mention “Adam’s Rib” and “Pat and Mike” ….I love the characters portrayed by Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in all of these films ….a strong couple, building on romance and friendship and a general sense that the competition or war of the sexes doesn’t have to have a winner / looser. I do blame the success of these films for some of the bland and stupid rom coms of the modern age….Without Ruth Gordon & Garson Kanin or Pheobe & Henry Ephron to write the screenplays we have lost some of our intellectual component– perhaps Amy Schumer can save us?
Idlewild (2006, dir; Bryan Barber) — While I adore this film for its combination of fantasy and realism and mixture of musical styles, the romance is super hot. One of the best kissing scenes on film – what is it about rain? But also, the story of struggling to find oneself..the keep your center among turmoil …the story isn’t about a bad guy or bad girl and their redemption through a good mate.. ..but two people both struggling to find a goal, to understand who they are ….try to avoid being together because of what they don’t have to offer…..yet are drawn together. Both characters are strong/weak in different ways- and while it does lack the open conversation I love about the other films I’ve listed, the complexity of these lives is riveting to watch.
Saving Face (2004, dir & writer: Alice Wu) — Endearing complexity…I’m not sure how else to describe this …Each character is endearing in their own way and extremely complex and dynamic. The camera caresses each moment, as if there is so much behind every view, every character and every conversation that it (the camera) will reach in and pull out the depth, love and sincerity. Beautifully done!