Maybe, it’s not enough

When could love possibly not be enough?

There is, of course, that star-crossed motif Shakespeare pulled out of medieval Italian lore.

Sometimes, the stars do not align. There is no serendipitous circumstance that brings lovers together when other circumstances have pushed them apart.

This, too, can be very romantic. (See Romeo and Juliet ref. above.) It will certainly elicit sighs and tears.

The very sappy and enduring Love Story and its sequel Oliver’s Story are possibly exemplars of the sadly romantic in film.

Terms of Endearment, on our previous rom-com list, has a component of loss, and actually fits this list better. Place it next to Steel Magnolias as a hearty instance of romantic but sorrowful.

Of course, these two and the previous ones are not strictly in the mode of star-crossed, but rather love found and lost (the.. Story pix) or love tinged with tragedy (Terms.. and Steel.. .)

In a more light-hearted vein in which love is a stage and is 
intentionally given up, we have (among others, of course), the superb and memorable Dirty Dancing. In this genre of rom-com, love is not so much meant to be, or a cosmically missed experience. Instead, it is a fond memory.

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Still feelin’ the love?

Valentine’s Day is behind us, but the light sweet romances of the movies are always here. In most cases, just a click away, although admittedly, the batch I suggest in this post will require a little more searching than yesterday’s contemporary lists.

The Lady Eve in which Barbara Stanwyk casts her spell on Henry Fonda

While candy, even the box of chocolates, are sugary, and consummable, and flowers fade, Cary Grant has proven to endure. As have Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable. So we are on to a new curation of the romantic in film:

  • Bringing Up Baby with Grant and Katherine Hepburn is a classic meet-cute, which was kind of remade by Madonna as
  • Who’s That Girl and by Barbra Streisand as 
  • What’s Up Doc with Ryan O’Neill in the Grant role

These are all very zany and enjoyable, but have taken me off point. Here is my number ONE pick:

  • Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert created the best in It Happened One Night! This is a brilliant and buoyant work by the great Frank Capra.
  • Improbably, the sparks, flirty, funny, ironic, between Myrna Loy and William Powell in all The Thin Man movies are very very sexy. That places this series as number TWO on my list of romance titles.
  • there will be more…. And here we go…:
  • Carole Lombard gave us her share of films in which the lovers-to-be spar and then find common ground and true love. My Man Godfrey, in which she plays opposite William Powell (see above), is one of my favorites in her panicle of screwball gems.
  • Preston Sturges helmed many a funny, fun-filled and farcical romance. Lady Eve, with Barbara Stanwyk and Henry Fonda, is just one such.
  • Remember the Night, which sounds more like a potboiler, is actually a charming romance between Stanwyk and Fred MacMurray. Also directed by Sturges, this one is a far cry from the stormy Billy Wilder vehicle Double Indemnity in which the two embark upon murder.
  • If mix-ups and mistaken identity is a basis for madcap romance, add Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot to this list now. The movie has spawned many a re-imagining, and our personal favorite is
  • Connie and Carla, featuring Toni Collette and Nia Vardalos, who also wrote. The film is an out and out tribute to the …Hot original.
  • The Apartment, another Wilder masterpiece, gives Shirley MacLaine and Lemmon the love light.

The 1930s and 40s were the high-water mark in Hollywood for kooky, quirky and light-hearted love stories. They created the template from which later work could evolve and develop more diverting, daft and waggish comedies in which love blossoms among couples who seem mismatched, but so clearly belong together.

It’s in the air….

What could possibly make me think of romantic comedies today?

I’m thinking perhaps it has something to do with it being Valentine’s Day, the holiday of romance and chocolates, flowers and cute cupid notes.

Vegan meal “selfie” by our granddaughter

So, is this a good time to begin making lists? Of course, it is. For me, most days are a good time to create curations of films, or theater, and such.

Today is a great day to appreciate the rom-coms. So here we go:

  • Anyone of a number of sometimes very moving Hallmark, yes that Hallmark, Channel films. Of particular note, 
  • Elevator Girl. although many others have elicited tears and joy.
  • Serendipity is underrated by most, but very appealing, and perfect for this category.
  • Bull Durham has always been the top choice for most romantic film story of all-time for me.
  • Like the Drew Barrymore rom-com, Fever Pitch, Bull Durham has both hearts and baseball in its corner.
  • Barefoot in the Park has recently become an obsession. It has the advantage of pairing Jane Fonda at her most charming and the droll and handsome Robert Redford.
  • Speaking of Redford, he also stars opposite Barbra Streisand in the most delightfully sad-lovely tale The Way We Were.
Celebrate Valentine's Day with a movie and roses.
Blossoms in a teapot (c) Tamara Beck

Lists like these are fraught with the dilemmas that choosing always brings us. They are also patently absurd, and ever so restrictive. And of course, totally incomplete. It is also nearly impossible to truly pick a favorite. The very process of creating an archive like this is exhausting!

  • Moonstruck is definitely a love story that makes the list for V’Day viewing.
  • Diane Keaton is still churning out romantic comedies, including the current Book Club
  • but her preeminent role was as Annie Hall.
  • Something’s Gotta Give makes this list, as well, in another Keaton led romance.
  • Her co-star in that lovely little love story, Jack Nicholson is truly romantic in Anything Goes and also in
  • Terms of Endearment, with Shirley MacLaine, a bitter-sweet story that pleases and pains.
  • Waiting to Exhale is very romantic and one of my hubby’s favorites, as is it’s star, Whitney Houston.
  • Angela Bassett can be found there as well as in How Stella Got Her Groove On
  • Bassett also appears in an anti-Valentine, as it were, the classic What’s Love Got to Do With It, (it makes the list for its portrayal of resilience
  • Let’s not make an unValentine list just now!
  • Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan made their contribution to the genre with Sleepless in Seattle and
  • You’ve Got Mail, a remake of
  • The Shop Around the Corner, remade as
  • In the Good Old Summertime, a musical vehicle for Judy Garland, Van Johnson and SZ Sakall.
  • Deliver Us From Eva is a romance of empowerment and love
  • along the lines of Kiss Me Kate and let’s add another 
  • Gabrielle Union picture Two Can Play That Game

It’s Valentine’s Day, so I will now retire with a cup of hot, rich coffee and admire the roses my husband put in my window!

Richard the Rich Raps

Terms of art

Don’t get too comfortable in your job /

I’m gonna show you up as a slob /

Money, yo, is for the rich, yo /

The rest of you just bitch, yo /

You wanna take a hitch, yo /

Cause tax cuts are for the rich, yo /

Don’t wanna repeat myself /

You can’t be like myself /

I’m the best /

You’re the rest

Witchy ways

Are premonitions part of your repertoire? Do they come with a nose-itching certainty?

Do you gather inspiration from the text of Bell, Book and Candle? Is Bewitched an all-time favorite on TV, so much so that you just had to see the movie?

Grab a broom, and come join us around the cauldron. A witches’ brew may be just the drink for this day in time!

Cast your spell.

New year, new name

Not so quick on the turns, I guess, but after two years, I decided to make a timely change. My Word! 2017 should have been updated way before this, of course.

(c) Tamara Beck

Today, seems like the perfect time for my inspiration to take hold. My Word! 2017 is now My Word! 2017-2019. We’ll see what ideas for the site 2020 brings me.

“Who’s on first…?”

Curation, or perhaps just free association, is what I like to do when I link my favorite entertainments in categories.

Don’t misunderstand me, I am not putting them in boxes to file away.

Photo © Tamara Beck

Baseball, and sports in general, makes for a great backdrop for the stories I love best.

It Happened in Flatbush is a little gem unspooled at TCM 
for us the other day. It is indeed a (Turner) Classic Movie!