Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Love Stories

I love a good love story.

But, I don't enjoy it if it has:  premarital shenanigans, adultery, divorce, same-sex marriage, broken families, murder, bad language, a key character dying in the end, or vampires.

Which means I love a good number of movies made before 1965, and about, maybe... uh, nine (?) made in the last fifty years.  Even old reliable Hallmark movies have lost their innocence. But there are still a few good wholesome movies out there. Probably the most truly realistic and lovely one in recent years is the story (as mentioned above) in Up, but then there's: Tangled (I just love that movie!);  Ever After; Ella Enchanted; the Love Comes Softly series; Emma; Sense and Sensibility; Princess Bride;  Somewhere in Time... and I'm sure there are a few more, but those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head -- that I can recommend without caveats.

Isn't that pitiful?

I don't know if the movies pattern themselves after society, or society patterns itself after the movies.  It's probably a little of both, I guess.  But, regardless -- I find it disturbing the pictures that we're seeing out there in either one.  Viewed from someone a hundred years ago, our movies and television paint a canvas, really quite dark, morbid, technologically obsessed and -- well -- amoral, at best... But, what I think our great grandparents might also find arresting is the terrible low to which our personal relationships have sunk.  What our society expects from life and love in 2012 is disturbing. And the culture-media/ media-culture blender is whirling us down to no good end.

Seriously.  It's pitiful.

I don't want my children to pattern their love lives after most of what passes for romance in movies and television today.  I don't want them to think it's love -- real love -- only if there's d-r-a-m-a.  Or explosions and fireworks and hoop-de-doo.  Or sleeping together.  Or vampires.  I want them to know that their courtship and marriages won't necessarily be smooth and perfect all the time -- which actually is a theme in almost every romantic story, from Twilight to Tangled (because there's no story without conflict, after all), but that they don't have to be sordid, either.  Or maudlin.  I want my children to watch Ever After and see that a life together should be founded on mutual respect; I want them to watch Sense and Sensibility and realize how important it is for them to use their heads, not their hormones when they choose a mate;  I want them to watch Princess Bride and Somewhere in Time and understand that the love of their lives must be eternal, because marriage is for a lifetime -- and then some.

Because the fact is that eternal love exists even without a vampire lover doomed to an eternity of angst.  The best examples of the real thing are not written for the big screen. And they are better than in the movies.


Tridentine Wife said...

Yes yes yes! The point you made about whether movies pattern themselves after society or the other way around was interesting, although I suspect it's a mutual lack of respect on both sides, ha.

I have actually read all four Twilight books and seen 2 of the movies and remember feeling nothing but disgust and horror at the though of my two daughters ever falling victim to such error as to what love is based on.

Would you mind if I linked your post in my blog?

Also Sense and Sensibility is one of my all time favorite movies.

Bia said...

gosh, you just mention sense and sensibility and somewhere in time and my heart does this little flutter.

Lisa said...

Tridentine Wife ~ You betcha!

Bia ~ +sigh+ I know... I love all those Jane Austen movies!