Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Love Stories

Casablanca is supposed to be a great love story, aside from just a great movie. I showed it in class last term and ended up with one rather disillusioned student. She was quite upset because it was about ADULTERY.

I tried to point out that when they were in Paris, she thought her hubby was dead. She reminded me that when they were at Casabalanca, she was still in love with him. And was trying to play that old love. Totally ruined the movie for her.

And made me wonder about it. A lot of romantic movies include breaking up one couple so the "right" couple can get together. I guess it has to do with creating conflict, but surely there are other ways to create conflict in a romantic movie without including other people in the relationship? Aside from that, I always feel bad for the person who gets jilted-- usually because the lead character has been cheating on them.

But I'm also one of those folks who doesn't believe affairs "just happen." They happen because no one says "please, don't unzip my pants." Making no choice-- just letting something happen-- is the same as making a choice. But we sometimes pretend that we had no choice to comfort ourself with the choice we have already made. (Said best in Babylon 5 TV show.)

I hate cheating. I've also never made a quick decision in my life. So it always seems a little odd when I try to write about cheaters (as is pretty typical fare in PI fiction). I always try to understand why my character, even minor ones, have picked that course of action. It's not always easy to come with rational that works, at least on some level.

But I still have trouble wrapping my mind around it. And I "tease" Hubby that any part of him that touches another woman-- I cut off. He usually tells me, "That might hurt." That's the point, sweetheart.


Travis Erwin said...

My wife hates a any and all plots that rely heavily on cheating. I think it is all in how it's done but look at the success of Bridges of Madison County and you can see that at certain times readers are willing to overlook it.

David Cranmer said...

Hands down, Casablanca is one of my favorite films, but interestingly a few friends who finally watched it, didn't like it for different reasons. One thought it was unrealistic and the other found it to be kind of boring. Undoubtedly your student brought up an interesting perpsective because I've seen Casablanca at least a dozen times and never thought about the adultery issue in that way... I think that's because most films that involve adultery don't put alot of attention on the person who's being cheated on, and so we're focused on the blossoming romance.