Cruising through news Web sites is something I do each morning. On one particular site, they announced the top 25 most romantic movies.
I was amazed at a number of the choices: An adult male dancer in a cheap resort “doing” a teenage girl . . . like they have a future. A woman having sex with her fiancé’s younger brother. People who meet while on a European excursion and become intimate immediately . . . and so on.
When younger, I watched movies and got caught up in the mushy emotions. As an adult — and definitely as Dr. Laura — I watch movies on a much deeper level, and I’m not happy with the notion that as long as two people are swept up in fantasy and immediacy, it is just beautiful.
Maybe it’s because I spend hours each day helping people extricate their hearts, minds, and collateral damage from their decisions to just go with the flow of erotic and romantic feelings. I’m left trying to help them remedy the hurts done to others as well as themselves . . . and the “accidental” children who do not typically benefit from conception-on-the-run.
The African Queen was, to me, one of the most romantic movies of all time. Humphrey Bogart gives up being a surly, drunk, self-designed outcast for Katharine Hepburn who gives up being an uptight, prissy, self-avowed spinster.
They do this for a cause — using his little beat-up boat to sink a German war ship.
Having that joint goal (well, she really had to work to get him out of his shell to be brave enough to rejoin the world), and having to deal with deadly elements on a 6-foot power skiff, together, built something really romantic.
Those of you who are married and struggling with the economic elements or illnesses — whatever — should watch that movie together. Twice. I believe it will make you want to snuggle.
What brings people close together is not just itinerant sex. It is a joint goal — the attainment of which requires you both to become more.
Sometimes that goal is survival, other times it is the birth of a child, or a commitment to some effort in the world. Great sex is the prize. It is not the substance of true love.
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