Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What Makes Some Romances Work?

I went to see RED this weekend. RED for those of you who don’t know is an action adventure comedy starring Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Mary Louise Parker, Karl Urban and more. It’s a truly stellar cast and the previews intimated that it would be funny and chock full of action movie moments, but they missed out on the romantic aspects of the story. Now that may have been a conscious choice and if so, more power to them. But I have to say that RED was among one of the most romantic action adventure movies I’ve ever seen.


Because I believed in the romances in play on the screen. Without giving away spoilers and because I honestly think you need to see the movie, the film opens with Bruce Willis’ Frank Moses calling the St. Louis helpline for Social Security because his check still hasn’t shown up (by the way, you see Frank ripping up his check) as he and Mary Louise Parker’s Sarah begin chatting. The chemistry lit up both their faces, the hesitancy and almost-teenage-like longing added to it. Yet their interactions weren’t cutesy or ridiculous, they were mature.

Other relationships in the film mirrored that depth of maturity and feeling at different stages and all told, I bought every relationship, I believed in them. I could feel them. I could taste them and I didn’t need to be told they would have a happily ever after because these were the kind of couples that would make it work and have a good time along the way.

A similar moment happened in last night’s Castle when Beckett told Castle not to worry, she’d get him out of jail at the end. The offhand remark wasn’t flip or teasing, it echoed with a quiet truth. After all, Castle is the man who charged into a burning building for her.

So what makes some romances work for you in books, television or film? What element brings it to life?

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