(originally published February 15, 2010)
Cruising through the news sites, I recently came across a list of the Top 25 Most Romantic Movies. I was amazed at a number of the choices: adult male dancer in cheap resort "doing" a teenage girl (like they have a future together!); a woman having sex with her fiancé's younger brother; people who meet while on a European excursion and immediately become intimate, and on and on.
When I was younger, I used to just "watch" movies and get caught up in the mushy emotions. As an adult (and definitely as "Dr. Laura"), I watch movies on a much deeper level, and I'm not happy with the notion that as long as two people are swept up in fantasy and immediacy, it's just b e a u t i f u l.
Maybe it's because I spend hours each day on my radio program helping people extricate their hearts, minds, and collateral damage from their decisions to just go with the flow of erotic and romantic feelings. I'm left trying to help them remedy the hurts done to others as well as themselves and the "accidental" children who do not typically benefit from "conception-on-the-run."
The film The African Queen was, for me, one of the most romantic movies of all time. Humphrey Bogart gives up being a surly, drunk, self-designated outcast for Katharine Hepburn, who gives up being an up-tight, prissy, self-avowed spinster, for a cause, using his little beat-up boat to sink a German war boat. Having that joint goal (well, she had to work hard to get him out of his shell to be brave enough to re-join the world), and having to deal with deadly elements on a six-foot power skiff together, they built something really romantic.
Those of you who are married and struggling with illness or the economic "elements" should watch that movie together...twice! I believe it will make you snuggle. What brings people really close together is not just itinerant sex. It is a joint goal, the attainment of which requires you both to become MORE. Sometimes that goal is survival, and at other times, it may be the birth of a child, or a commitment to some effort in the world. Great sex is the prize...it is not the substance of true love.