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.
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.
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
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.
The truth, that we have lost our way, is glaringly evident. Can we find it, after the disruptions pile up?
The leadership we have allowed to lead us down this rabbit hole is leaving permanent scars on the democracy. We need greater vigilance to steer us through this maze and the mayhem. You might say, “but look at the stock market,” and ignore the things you have given up.
A rich country with some 10% of our population likely to not be covered in a health crisis. Health insurance is important and not just for those who are insured. We all pay a toll. There are too many of us too many of us likely to not be able to pay for our children’s illnesses , and living in poverty
The tariff war that has been started will hit you personally in the pocket book, but it will not bring steel manufacturing back to Pittsburgh. It may even make it impossible for cars to be made in our Southern states because the automobile industry depends on imported steel. And cars are not the only item in your budget that will become more expensive.
There are plenty of circuses meant to keep us off guard. The Korean Summit with promises of peace and assurances of success is just one of these trompe l’oeil. A scheduled meeting with Putin is another. Assurances that anyone disagreeing with the administration is pandering so called fake news is a third ring in this circus. Tweets are the messengers, billboards for the disrupt.
The rule of law is being eroded. We, each of us, is being made over into an American less than the person conceived by our Constitution. Democracy is in threat.
Language, well at least until it succumbed to being written, was an unseen organism of communication. In its seen form it can be in black and white or colored print, and may have started as pictograms but has evolved over time. Language, whether in writing or spoken, is an evolving tool whose changes can be subtle. If you have tried wading through Beowulf in ye olde Englisc, you have a sense of where it’s been but no idea where it’s going.
Alphabet, an acronym (not an anagram) from the Hebrew letters opening the sequence of sounds used in writing, aleph bet, defines how we write our thoughts.
We’ve come a long way from pictograms. Alphabet is also the company name for Google, which can be defined as a way in which we research facts to support our ideas. Another tool, google is also a verb for finding just about anything about just about anyone. Microsoft’s search engine Bing never achieved this level of linguist status; you would never say I binged the information on which I base my statements, even though you may reverted to that search tool for assistance.
LOL is not an anagram for a popular brand of butter and eggs, except in my imagination. Land O’Lakes is not funny, although it can be fun. LOL is instead a reflection of how culture influences language. Internet spawned anagrams are legion and often send me scrambling to google (or bing) their meaning.
We use words to express ourselves. What we say and how we say it is important if we expect others to understand us. Those who cannot hear or are mute can sign, as sophisticated a way to tell what’s on your mind as any. Esperanto is one attempt to bridge the barriers that disparate linguistic traditions have created. Life is full of imperfect translations. We lose a lot by not fully grasping what others say.
There are those who extol the virtues of silence but it is hard to mine its gold when we do not understand its meaning. When silence is a way of voicing a grievance, it can be very effective, if not quite golden. One man’s gold is another man’s dross. The ways in which we talk to each other can definitely enrich us.
Slang, with its inventive poetry of iterations and descriptions, is one way in which language grows. It matures and new (younger) phrases emerge. It is hard to keep up with what “cool” or “cold,” “good” or “bad” might mean from generation to generation.
The babel of languages commonly heard on a midtown street in New York City defies easy description. Is that a Slavic language I hear? Is he speaking Finnish? Portuguese is similar and so unlike Spanish. Is that Italian or is that family Argentine? The cacophony is a puzzle and a guessing game.
I have elsewhere lamented my personal loss of my native language, but I have no explanation for the failures of my tongue and my mind in recalling a language I spoke through my teens with some fluency. My assimilation seems extreme. It is of a certainty complete.
My mother spoke five languages, all quite well, and her assimilation into her adopted country also seemed complete in its own way.
It is, in short, possible to keep and honor the past while moving, as language does, into the future.
In some ways, one’s language may reflect a mode of thinking. The way in which our mind assesses circumstances can charge the way we express ourselves. The way in which we express ourselves, in turn, may charge the language we use. It may inform our mode of expression and reflect cultural, personal and intellectual choices. Choices we’ve made in our choice of words and the fluidity of their expression are reflections of who we are.
Having a large arsenal of vocabulary at one’s disposal is an advantage and a privilege. An apt choice of words can become a habit of mind. It can help you replace “I wish I’d said that” as way of recapping a conversation. It can also fram the thoughts you have so that the “um.. uh” is no longer a vocabulary filler.
You want to find the right word on the tip of your tongue to use at will. You also want to exercise variety in the ways you express yourself. A diet of simple, straightforward words can prove as boring (and unchallenging) as if you were eating just one kind of fruit. Reach for the tofu or the steak on occasion. Endulge yourself with a cascade of colorful alternatives. Flex your voice by varying the styles in which you express thoughts. Throw in some street words, toss in an elegant turn of phrase.
Care in your choice of words is as vital as care in your menu or how you conduct yourself in business or in life.
Is it a failing of my own, or has the world gone a tad mad? I cannot grasp the extent to which situations, circumstances, behaviors and relationships have dwindled to an appalling naught. Little, it seems matters as it once did. There is no desirable code of conduct among us anymore. I blame the times, our leadership, and the choices we seem to have made. Everything else is out of my grasp.