Well alright. But what does love have to do with this blog?
My knee-jerk reaction is that since this is my blog, any topic is fair game. In addition, since we are so bombarded by news that dwells on hate, belittlement, lies and insults, why not talk about something more uplifting that turn our thoughts to better things?
Besides, I am an emotional, sentimental kind of guy. Always a sucker for a good love story. Which doesn’t mean I keep the TV on the Hallmark channel, though I have strayed by it a few times. but I have certainly teared up at the movie or watching TV.
I’m not talking about the all-to-common expression, “I just love him/her.” Which might very well mean you are talking about a co-worker who is basically a good person whom you admire and trust.
I’m speaking of something far deeper and meaningful. Something you will only encounter a very few times in your life. The feeling when a special person is always just a thought or two away..
Here are three of my favorite movies about love, going back almost 50 years.
And they all have something in common. They did not end well. No one rode off into the sunset locked arm in arm. Instead, some circumstance prevented that, which is why I cried. I know that some loves are rare and special feelings. They can be gut-wrenching. They are all mysteries, quite hard to explain, We don’t go looking for them, they just find us..
The Way We were came out in 1973 starring Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand. They were from opposite sides of the tracks so to speak. They met in college, but did not date. He was the prototype college guy. He was Protestant, she was Jewish. She was a vocal activist, he was concerned about other things. He was intrigued by her conviction.
They go their separate ways after college. He served in the Navy in the South Pacific during World War II. She worked for a radio station. They meet again and fall in love but their opposite views of the world cause problems. They marry and move to Hollywood where he is a successful screenwriter.. They have a daughter. They divorce and she moves back to New York with her daughter.
Years later the two meet by chance in New York. He is a writer, she has married and is still an activist. They exchange small talk then moves on. She wistfully watches him disappear.
And my heart aches
The Prince of Tides was released in 1991, Pat Conroy wrote the book. Barbra Streisand and Nick Nolte played the lead roles. He was a football coach in South Carolina, she was a psychiatrist in New York City treating his twin sister At his mother’s insistence, Nolte goes to NYC to meet Streisand’s character and help with his sister.
This leads to him revealing deep secrets from his youth. Both he and Streisand are married. After a number of twists and turns Nolte is able to deal with his past and his sister is released from the hospital.
But along the way, he and Streisand have an affair and fall in love. However, he returns to his life in South Carolina while a piece of his heart stays in NYC. He thinks of Streisand every day when he reaches a certain bridge on his way home.
The Bridges Of Madison County. Released in 1995, Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep played the lead roles. She was an Iowa farm wife, he was a photographer for National Geographic on assignment to take pictures of covered bridges. He stopped by her house seeking directions. Her husband and two children were gone for several days to attend the state fair.
She took him to the bridge. They had a whirlwind romance for four days. They considered running away together. She decided not to. But he was in her heart the rest of her life. When she became a widow later in life she tried to locate Eastwood, but with no success.
Her ashes were scattered at Roseman Bridge, the bridge Eastwood was looking for the day he met her.
These are beautiful, but very sad, stories. For a twinkling, all these characters found something so deep and meaningful that words can not adequately describe it.
It’s sad they did not open the door to something lasting, instead of just memories.
But better a memory than nothing at all.