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Monday, February 14, 2005

Extremely random thoughts on romantic comedies

One habit I've been spared from developing is a love of romantic comedies, aka "chick flicks". They make me want to kill myself, particularly any with Meg Ryan in them, being oh-so-adorable and just a little but not too quirky. But pretty much all of them make me wildly self-conscious, because I am far from immune to wanting to believe in the fantasy. Who doesn't want some man to come out of the blue and see you as the wonderful gal you really are and sweep you off your feet? But then you get back to normal life and people who are just taking each other for granted and frankly, it depresses the hell out of me. So romantic comedies and me are not friends.

Romantic comedies make me sort of wish that the women's weepers would come back, especially the ones where everyone doesn't realize how much they really loved the heroine until she's passed. Well, okay I don't want them to come back because the mere thought of watching something like Beaches again makes me throw up a little in my mouth, but really, it just seems more satisfying to me to fantasize about how sorry everyone would be if you just disappeared rather than fantasizing that one day someone might really notice how great you really are. Of course, this all makes me think that a real blockbuster movie would combine the two elements--you know, instead of the heroine dying, she is carted off by John Cusack in a convertible, leaving behind her ungrateful husband and kids to gnash their teeth and wish that they had appreciated her while she was there. Of course, someone has probably already made this movie for all I know.

The romantic comedies that are exempt from my "kill 'em all" rule are the ones from the 30s and 40s where the hero and the heroine wear each other into love through endless teasing. That's just good, clean fun. True, it's just as much a fantasy as anything else--in real life, most people do not even befriend someone who rides their ass, much less fall in love with them--but at least in this fantasy there are some good jokes. And of course, there's sexual tension, which makes the romance far more believable than a story about why Wildly Romantic Men and Annoyingly Cute Girls simply have to be together. Annie Hall gets to live as well, because while it's classified as a romantic comedy, it's really more of a failed romance comedy. If you haven't had your own version of the spider scene happen at least once in your life, my friends, you don't know the weird ways of love.

If you want to be a romantic sucker this Valentine's Day, I recommend small, easy-to-manage bursts of romantic fantasizing. 'Tis a far, far better thing to enjoy a good love song rather than an insipid date movie. RJ at Night Light has a great suggestion list. He is my new hero for including "Amanda" by Don Williams, the one and only song with my name in it that I like. If Barry Manilow ever finds himself alone with me in a dark alley, I'm telling you now that he's gonna wish he had never written "Mandy".


Blogger Raznor said...

I dunno, I've always considered Elliott Smith's love songs and, more often, almost-but-not-quite-love-songs to be quite good. But for a nice almost completely love song but not quite but damn is it good, try "Say Yes" from Either/Or.

As for romantic comedies, I usually hate them because the formula is so obvious. Occasionally one rises above the rest and is awesome like The Tao of Steve or High Fidelity, or just complete day of the life type stuff with romance happening to occur like Can't Hardly Wait (aka a new generation's Dazed and Confused). Still, very few can hold a candle to Bringing up Baby with all the genius of Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant.

Or you can always go for the dark side of love if you need to appreciate being single. I recommend Unfaithful for that.


Blogger Amanda said...

Dammit! I liked High Fidelity, too. One more on the approved list. My boyfriend hated it, though. It is a really formulaic romantic comedy, so I see his point. Plus, Cusack's character was a dick and so didn't deserve to have that woman come back to him. But I forgive all of this, because the soundtrack had Roky Erickson on it and I'm almost positive that the title and idea for the book/movie came from the Elvis Costello song "High Fidelity".


Anonymous Jennifer said...

"Of course, this all makes me think that a real blockbuster movie would combine the two elements--you know, instead of the heroine dying, she is carted off by John Cusack in a convertible, leaving behind her ungrateful husband and kids to gnash their teeth and wish that they had appreciated her while she was there. Of course, someone has probably already made this movie for all I know."

Not quite, but perhaps close? The end of Best Little Whorehouse In Texas features the sheriff with political ambitions carrying off his longtime girlfriend/whorehouse madam who's just had her place closed down after it got featured on television. She tries to break up with him (hence "I Will Always Love You") so he can go run for the legislature, he says, "I don't give a damn what people think," and voila, carrying ensues.



Blogger Roxanne said...

I'm partial to The Way We Were, but I think my husband hates it.


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Blogger Kenneth Rufo said...

Omg. Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail, the worst setup and resolution of any romantic comedy, at least any remotely modern romantic comedy. Tom Hanks bankrupts her, lies to her for a month, and she loves him for it. I wanted to rewind all the way to the roof in Sleepless in Seattle and throw both the bastards off.


Blogger ScottM said...

We watched Sliding Doors last night and enjoyed it; it's kind of a romantic comedy, but dark enough that you might enjoy it.

Of course, five minutes from the end of the movie my life was threatened and it looked like the couch was imminent, but I got a last minute reprieve.


Blogger Phila said...

The true horror of You've Got Mail is that it's a remake of Lubitsch's The Shop Around The absolutely magnificent movie that's pretty close to being the best romantic comedy ever (I consider My Man Godfrey to be more satirical, though I'm crazy about that one, too).

Anyway, Happy VD to one and all.


Blogger WookieMonster said...

Grosse Pointe Blank is the best romantic comedy ever (followed by the rest of John Cusack's movies). It left me wondering how you get a job as an assistant to a professional killer. Sign me up.

Of course that has nothing to do with the romantic-ness of it.


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The personal development industry has never been bigger! It consists of a myriad of authors basically telling us how to improve our lives. We are constantly being told self help and self improvement has never been easier. New techniques, gadgets and potions adorn the shelves of new age shops and the 1 billion dollar industry, that is personal development, offers many different approaches to help better our lives. They offer ways to increase our bounty and ultimately alter our own reality. A great example of this is how to develop a Prosperity Consciousness. But does this state really exist and if it does will it bring the effortless unlimited wealth promised?
A lot has been written about prosperity and how to attain it. We have been told by many religious traditions and every personal development guru that the Universersal Source (God, Spirit, Cosmic Mind or whatever label you chose to give it) is boundless wealth. We are also told that abundance, wealth and prosperity are our birthright! Why then are so many people ill, broke, frustrated and unfulfilled? Can a person really develop a prosperity consciousness and effortlessly attract wealth? Well as with everything in life there is only one way to find out. Test it for yourself!

Before we can attain and then test the effectiveness of having a prosperity consciousness we need to understand some basic truths. Let's start by explaining three fundamentals of personal development namely; 1. The Universal Source is all wealth, abundance and prosperity; 2. Prosperity is our birthright; 3. You get more of what you focus on.

1. Why are we told that the Universal Source is unlimited wealth? - Because the Universal Source is the consciousness of the Universe - a universe that is still expanding. It is the driving force behind physical reality. It created everything you see, hear, touch and smell as well as all that we are unaware of (microwaves, radiation, air etc.). It has been stated in religious and metaphysical traditions that this intelligence is not only the Source of everything but that it is also the substance of it! It creates the Universe from itself! It is omnipresent (everywhere present). That means that the entire seen and unseen aspects of the universe are a part of this Universal Source. Science reaffirms this theory as it states that nothing is solid and everything is just one mass of pure energy that vibrates at different frequencies and gives the illusion of separateness.
So we can now claim that the Universal Source is unlimited wealth, abundance and prosperity with some belief. For if this Source is the very substance of everything then it is all the wealth, abundance and prosperity that exists at this very moment!
Ok so far? Now lets look at the second point - prosperity is our birthright.

2. If this Universal Intelligence is the source and substance of all things then there can be only one intelligence in the Universe. Jesus said to his disciples "know ye not that you are the temple of the living God?" Buddha attained enlightenment and "oneness". The list of these religious teachings are too numerous to mention but their message remains the same - God (Universal Substance) resides within and around us. It's very substance makes up our physical body and the world around us - "For in him we live, move and have our being" Acts17:28. Therefore, if this Universal Source is at the very core of our being and is the substance from which we take physical form then it stands to reason that we are connected to everyone else and in fact everything else around us - we are a part of all the wealth, abundance and prosperity of the universe. Just as your hand or foot is a part of your body, so every grain of sand, blade of grass, wisp of wind, bar of gold and brick that is laid in a mansion is part of you. The unlimited wealth of the universe is yours for the claiming. It is already yours, always has been and always will be. It is a part of you.
Ok let's go the third point - you get more of what you focus on.

3. "It never rains but it pours", is a saying I have used myself in the past. Have you ever wondered why such a statement appears to be true? Well metaphysics and religion tell us that "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" or as Job cried out to God "For that which I greatly feared has come upon me". What we focus our conscious attention on increases! Don't believe me? Test it for yourself! If you can muster up the strength to do it then think in negative terms for a week. Judge everything that happens to you in negative terms and think only of a negative outcome and watch what happens in your world!!! This is a relatively easy experiment as we are conditioned to think negatively by the world. A word of warning though - once you prove that your focus determines your reality stop thinking negative thoughts as best you can.
I will not go into the 'hows' of why our focus has such a profound influence on our lives (that would be the subject of a book or perhaps a future article) just prove to yourself that it does. A clue can be found in the teachings of Jesus when he said "The Kingdom of heaven is within".
So now we have the three principles of the prosperity consciousness explained let's put it to work. The attainment of a prosperity consciousness is relatively simple - just think on the first two principles until you fully understand them and integrate them into your consciousness. As you focus on them you will discover that your feelings of lack disappear and you begin to feel a connection with everything around you. It is really just an attitude shift - nothing metaphysical or mystical about it at all. You begin to consciously realize that everything is a part of you. Your focus changes from poverty to wealth.
If it helps make a list of affirmations that correspond to the two principles outlined e.g. "God is the Source and substance of everything", "I am at one with everyone and everything around me", "I am a part of all the wealth, abundance and prosperity of the Universe" etc. Don't just rhyme them off in a parrot like manner, think on them and realize the scientific or spiritual truths behind them.

Will it work? Well I can say now that if you follow the above instructions a real change will happen in you. You will start to see the beauty of the world and the unlimited resources that are available within and around you. Will you attain wealth, abundance and prosperity? Test it for yourself! self improvement


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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