Saturday, March 31, 2012

Romance and starting over

Romance.  Ah I know for as many sighs of satisfaction, there are an equal number of groans and bah humbugs. Well I go in spurts for how I see it all. Right now with doing a lot of writing, romance is high on my list and that includes romantic films.

So being on a James Garner film festival kind of mood, I remembered Murphy's Romance. It came out in 1985 which means I was 42. Good Lord. That seems like a lifetime ago.

James Garner was 57 and I might add in prime condition. Oh I am being distracted. Sally Field was 39 and playing someone somewhat younger. I might add, she was in prime condition too.  Let's just say, she fit those jeans really really well.


Murphy's Romance is a sweet story that builds slowly about a woman who left a bad marriage taking her son and trying to build a new life for herself a long way from that old life.  With a lot of work, she settles into a small ranch on the edge of a small town in Arizona. Another reason for me to love the story. Old house, old ranch buildings and her desire to start a horse training business. I admit I did keep wondering when do they run into the scorpions or rattlesnakes... old deserted buildings and all, but I guess that was another distraction.

Murphy is the most successful man in town. He's gone through his own hell as a widower, pulled himself together, and has a pretty good life going. He knows himself well and soon goes about wooing Emma as we used to say our bull would do-- slow and steady. Then along comes the ex-husband.

It's hard to say how well the story would do in the romance genre today given  readers seem to want something that grabs them instantly while this story builds slowly without a lot of action unless you like stories about human nature.

From Netflix, we watched Larry Crowne, a nice story about a really nice guy who had recently been divorced, when he didn't want it, and then finds out he's being fired supposedly because he doesn't have any college. This is the kind of guy who goes out of his way to do everything right. Now he finds that doesn't count for anything. He has found the life he planned totally thrown up into the air. He has to figure out what he can salvage-- turns out more than he imagined.

Tom Hanks really does capture this man's soul as he goes back to school and slowly rebuilds his confidence. Boy, can Hanks use his body in ways about which other actors can only dream. He goes from an insecure dweeb to... well rent it and find out.

Julia Roberts is the disillusioned community college teacher who teaches speech, has a lousy marriage, and learns a few things herself. She is the only one who can make those puffy lips work-- because they are naturally hers!


Then came When Harry Met Sally which is an oldie with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan before she ruined her lips.  Nora Ephron, Rob Reiner and Billy Crystal wrote it with a lot of improvisational ideas that they worked into the story which is really about male-female relationships. We thought it was funny but also a lot to think about. Interspersed in the plot are old couples discussing how they met. The words came from interviews Ephron did but the couples are played by actors. Divorce and starting over is a factor also in this film.

There are times when I can barely stand watching romances. I still don't like them when they are tragic. I need happy energy. Comedies are perfect. Laugh. Yep, we all need to laugh these days.

5 comments:

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I'm with you Rain...I like the Romantic Comedies if they have a "happy" ending, and that also try to say something, too...I am always drawn to "Something's Gotta Five" the Nancy Myers Written & Directed film, with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson....I find it one of the most satisfying film of this type---almost, ever...! Maybe becauae it deals with somewhat older people---Or rather, shall we say "mature" people....It is deeply satisfting to me, on all levels...!
I do like all the films you mentioned---It would be good to see "Murphey's Romance" again---'Harry & Sally' I have seen quite a bit and I Netflixed (new word) "Larry Crowne", recently....Still...."Something's Gotta Give" tops my list for this kind of film...! Romance can lift my spirits in an incredible way....!

gigihawaii said...

I loved Audrey Hepburn's movies, from Sabrina to My Fair Lady, and watched them repetitively when I got the chance.

Then, Audrey was superseded by Meg Ryan, whose movies with Tom Hanks made me weep. (Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail)

But most of all, I loved Broadway musicals (Sound of Music, especially).

Nowadays, I shun movies, as I have no patience to sit and watch them even at home. However, I do enjoy operas and musicals performed live on stage. Go figure!

Rain Trueax said...

I like all the films you both mentioned. Something's Got to Give we watched again recently.

We recently watched again the Lightkeepers with Richard Dreyfus, Blythe Danner, Tom Wisdom, and Mamie Gummer playing old and young lovers. We had bought that one because of liking it so much on Netflix.

Last night we saw for the first time the 1991 'Robin Hood' with Patrick Bergin and Uma Thurman-- something in the eye candy department for men and women. I liked it very much as the Robin Hood story retouched and more of the romance. Uma was so gorgeous then. Well she's still gorgeous 20 years later.

Rain Trueax said...

We tend to vary what we watch with some adventure type films, documentaries, kid movies, comedies, dramas, westerns, and generally not too much of any at one time.

Taradharma said...

Thanks for the great movie recommendations! Wa-hoo!

I also really loved "As Good as It Gets." Love Jack and Helen together.

Helen Hunt is also wonderful in Living Out Loud -- a bittersweet romance which has more real life outcomes, but though 'real life,' and difficult, the film is ultimately uplifting.