Trish Bendix: One of my favorite movies is this British indie from from 2001 called Me Without You. In the film Michelle Williams plays Holly, who is desperately in love with Nat, her best friend Marina’s (Anna Friel) brother. Marina is selfish and possessive and spends most of her life trying to keep Holly to herself, ruining any chance Nat and Holly have at love at several times throughout their lives. Eventually they are all unhappily married and back together at a home in the English countryside for a New Year’s party, and they play a game where you must describe someone in the room and the others must guess through a series of questions.
Guest: What element are they like?
Nat: Seawater. The dark sea.
Guest: What poet?
Nat: Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Guest: What time of day?
Guest: Which painter?
Holly: It’s lsabel. (Nat’s wife)
Isabel: No, it’s not. It’s Holly. The truest game?
The next game: Sardines in the dark, where Nat and Holly end up in the same closet together. Nat says, “I talk to you in my head all the time.” Holly closes her eyes and says, “It’s horrible out there.” “Why can’t we stay in here forever?” “What’s stopping us?” “You tell me.” It’s so romantic and hot and sad at the same time!
Eboni Rafus: The examples you have all shared are so beautiful and romantic in various ways, and I especially echo the bloody shirt in Brokeback Mountain (I was obsessed with that movie for about three years after it came out because of that damn shirt) and the Ruth and Idgie scene in Fried Green Tomatoes (one of my favorite movies of all time, partially because it’s the movie that made me realize that I was really into girls).
However, I tend to be a sucker for the best-friends-turned-lovers storyline which is why I always rooted for Dawson and Joey on Dawson’s Creek. The evolution of Pacey and Joey’s relationship — starting when he rented her a wall to paint on, continuing to when he kissed her for the first time on the side of the road because she said he knew her better than anyone else and he was tired of talking and when they are dancing at the Anti-Prom and he tells her “I remember everything.” — is also very romantic, but I’ll always be a DJer, because they were best friends first and foremost.
It, therefore, shouldn’t be a surprise anyone that one of my favorite movies is Some Kind of Wonderful. In the movie that is my life, I’ve always played the Watts character so when Watts and Keith kiss, and she wraps her legs around him and he squeezes her hips and digs his nails into her jeans, I can imagine what it would feel like to discover something new about someone you thought you knew so well. And in the end, when she’s walking away crying and he runs after her because he finally sees what had been right in front of him all along, and he scoops her up and kisses her and gives her the earrings he spent all his college savings on and tells her “You look good wearing my future,” my heart melts.
In my personal life I appreciate the little things–small gestures and inside jokes–more than the dramatic displays of affection or extravagant gifts. It’s the idea that I can be completely known and truly understood by another person that seduces me. To me, romance is when Jeff Bridges orders dinner for Barbara Streisand in The Mirror Has Two Faces and he knows to get her a little extra dressing on the side. I love the scene in The Color Purple when Shug sings “Miss Celie’s Blues” at Harpo’s juke joint to let Celie know that she sees her, she understands her, that, in fact, they are two of a kind.
Love at first sight doesn’t appeal to me. It’s love after seeing someone–really seeing them–or a long time and knowing the good, the bad and the ugly and accepting them for who they truly are that makes me swoon. For me, one of the most romantic movies of all time is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, because to know someone so well, including all their faults and shortcoming and the particular way that they are going to break your heart and yet caring about them enough to want to try again because the good memories outweigh the bad… well, maybe that’s not romantic, but it is true love.
Marcie Bianco: Audre Lorde. People, just Audre Lorde — and “Recreation,” in particular.
What is your favorite romantic scene of all time?