Yann Tiersen (Amélie Soundtrack)- “La valse d’Amélie”
“It’s better to help people than garden gnomes.”
Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001)
I am disillusioned with romance—at least in the traditional way. Now, nothing kills a romance buzz quite like a breakup, but that’s beside the point. Sort of.
I’ve said before, and will continue to say—again and again—that I love Pablo Neruda. I think his writing is sensual, sexy, and the best possible kind of romantic. But his writing is driven by passion for his work and ideas. It’s just different.
Romance on TV and in movies (and in badly written books) has been murdering my soul lately. ”Ohhh, they’re in love. Ohhh, they’re fighting. Ohhh, it’s okay because they’re in loooove and that makes everything better. Ohhh, all things are possible because they’re together. Ohhh.” I say nay.
Romance in movies, TV, and some books, is expressed in one of two ways: physically, or verbally.
(There are, of course, exceptions. Amelie is one of my favorite movies, and by far the most fantastical romantic film I’ve ever seen, and Garden State is a lovely movie with a little romance that enhances the entire story.)
Depicting romance as something physical is just…incorrect. Without a doubt, physicality is an aspect of romance and one that most of us don’t want to forget, but there’s so much more involved in romance than just sex. Example: I was watching Shakespeare in Love a while back and I remember thinking, “Don’t these people do anything other than screw and make out?” I don’t remember them ever having a conversation. Which is not to say it didn’t happen; I just don’t remember it. And I know, they were using Shakespeare’s lines in Romeo and Juliet to describe their feelings for each other or whatever. But I’m not buying it.
Purely verbal romance is another thing that’s just not true. Yet another example: Twilight. I have many issues with this book/movie/series, but for now I’ll stick to just one. There’s really no physical romance in this book/series. Now, I realize that someone is probably going to say, “but they had sex in the last book; that was physical romance,” to which I will say, yes, they had sex, but that, madam, was not romance, nor was it physical. We have no description of a physical relationship. Just hints. In my book, it doesn’t count. Anyway, verbal romance. Google Twilight. Google it. I dare you. Guess what you’ll find. A whole lot of quotes where Edward says something sweet to Bella. WHOA! My mind is blown! My entire perception of love is changed! Basically, he says a whole lot of sweet things that someone would love to hear. And that…is all he says. Sure, he was kinda mean in the second book. But he took it all back by saying sweet things. And…that’s it. No discussion of inner most thoughts. No discussions of the future—aside from ZOMG FOREVERRR. Yeah…once again, I’m not buying it.
Expressing romantic love is difficult. Physical and verbal romance are a parts of a greater whole. Neither one really cuts it; even together it’s not enough. There’s so much more to it, and I hate how so many things we see so frequently don’t acknowledge that. Instead of actual romance, we see clichés and unrealistic expectations
(and people that enter into traditional roles because they’re in love and that’s what you do when your in love, you get married and have babies and blah blah blah—a rant for another day). Why? Because it’s so much easier. I’m just having a hard time believing any of it.
Please do not get me started on Disney…