- Captain Von Trapp and Maria from The Sound of Music: Maria brings happiness to the Captain’s woeful life, and in the perfect time, because freaking Nazis are about to descend on his Austrian home and turn the entire family into refugees. Through the heartbreaking story, Maria and the Captain’s love makes it possible for the family to forge through the loss caused by war.
- Johannes Vermeer and the Girl in the Pearl Earring: A fictional romance, but dear to my heart, painter Johannes Vermeer and his muse, played by Scarlett Johansson, who is the girl in the pearl earring. The classic painting, now on view at world-class museums like the Louvre in Paris or the Met in New York, is a testament to Johannes’ love for his art, and by extension, his muse. Mired by infidelity, scandal, and money problems, the relationship between Johannes and the girl in the pearl earring somehow finds life. Though the story does not end happily for anyone, this on-screen pairing shows that sometimes love can be for the benefit of humankind through the production of great art.
- Danny and Sandy in Grease: Labels aren’t everything, and this duo breaks through boundaries and peer pressure in order to be together. Though some say Sandy changed for Danny, I believe Danny helped Sandy to uncover her inner bad girl. Also, it seems to me that Sandy helped Danny to better himself and become a more disciplined young man. This pairing shows me that no matter what others say, because other people always have something to say, the heart leads the way to victory. Despite criticism of their changes, both characters willingly and happily work on themselves – and even though they were inspired to change to “get” the other, in the end their changes made them more true to themselves. This is what love should do for people: help us to change, not in a shallow way, but in a deep way, a way that uncovers more of our true nature.
- Jack and Rose in Titanic: A young woman about to commit suicide is saved by a charming American… she falls in love with him, and he dies less than forty-eight hours later. Though brief, the courage of their love and the depth of their passion, is enough to change the course of Rose’s entire life, and her entire existence. Literally prepared to kill herself to escape the confines of her stiff life, Rose is saved both physically and spiritually by Jack’s kind, open heart. Being of a lower social class, Jack’s open and vulnerable adoration of Rose showed his courage and worthiness. He knew his value lay not in his pockets, but in the strength of his heart. He did the ultimate courageous deed in allowing Rose to live, while he, in the end, met the very fate that Rose had planned for herself. Selfless love at its most cinematic, this duo is practically the gold standard for love.
These movies remind me how many different ways romance can change people’s lives. Sometimes it just takes a once-in-a-lifetime whirlwind to reroute the way a person thinks about themselves or the world around them. The romance can be brief, or it can be long: length doesn’t seem to have an effect on the impact.
What would have happened if these movie characters hadn’t let their love blossom? They would be not only robbing themselves of one of life’s most transformative experiences, but they would be robbing the world of a love story – something that we can always use more of, is a good love story.
But what these romances show me is that love isn’t convenient. In fact, it’s often deadly inconvenient. Is it any wonder that it’s rare to find true love? Despite declarations of passion, very few people would willingly part with their reputations, their wealth, or indeed – their lives – in order to be, truthfully and openly, in love.
How has one romance changed everything for you? Would you say that it takes courage to lose everything, in order to be in love? Who are your favorite movie romances?