“Dying is easy. Comedy is hard” — Jack Lemmon
And that’s true, but good love movies are as few and far between as good comedies. Rom-coms are the worst, and while there is so much to explore when it comes to the subject of love, movie producers opt for the sure-fire bet of action films.
Violence is easy. Love is hard.
So it got me thinking about the best love movies and the laws of love represented within.
“Excalibur” — Love is Blind: Love requires a leap of faith. If you had an idea of how any love relationship was bound to turn out you’d run from it. Merlin: Looking at the cake is like looking at the future. Until you’ve tasted it, what do you really know? And then, of course, it’s too late.
“The Piano” — You Can’t Force Love. Her piano is left on the beach, saved by a savage. He allows her access to her piano in exchange for lessons but soon his desire for her takes over. The most important moment is when he touches her ever so gently through a small hole in her stocking. That bit of sensuality lights a fire within her.
“The Center of the World” — Money Can’t Buy Love. A newly-minted Silicon Valley tech startup guy has been spending a lot of time in strip clubs. He yearns for real intimacy but in his awkwardness has settled for lap dances. He convinces one of the strippers to join him in Vegas for the weekend but with rules: Separate rooms, no sex or kissing. All it does is drive him nuts and turn into a contest of wills. She eventually pleasures herself in front of him, showing him herself in true ecstasy. It’s something he will never have.
“Casablanca” — Love is Sacrifice. The movie ends with both making a sacrifice to go their separate ways for the benefit of the world.
“Out of Africa” — Love isn’t Possession. “My Kikuyu. My Limoges. My farm. What is it, exactly, that’s yours? We’re not owners here. We’re just passing through.” Denys Fitch Hatton
“Love” — Love has Limits. There is a way to damage a love relationship beyond repair and usually is tragic in results.
“A Walk on the Moon” — Love is Listening. If you can’t truly listen to each other it’s not love.
“Shame” — Shame is Opposite of Love. Shame is made up of (abandonment, betrayal, humiliation, rejection) and shame isn’t love although it can feel like it.
“Closer” — Love is Easy. If it’s about drama… well that’s wounded psychology and power dynamics not love.
“Cashback” — Love is Boundaries. When you truly love someone you love them at their edges as much as the middle bits.
“The Shape of Water” — Love is Vulnerability. When you love someone you want to help them escape from their dilemmas. You feel the pain of their prison and the hurt for another human’s predicament.
“The Witches of Eastwick” — Love is Joyful. If you can’t have fun together that’s not love. That’s work.
“Groundhog Day” — Love is Stillness. It is being quiet together in the same moment.
“Antonia’s Line” — Love is Loss. There is always loss.
“High Fidelity” Love Doesn’t Belong to One Person. It would be tragic if we could only fall in love once in a lifetime, and for some that is true. The rest of us will have three to four true, deep love stories in our lives. Even if you stay with one person, you go through three to four different chapters of love with them.
I loved the movie “3,000 Years of Longing,” one of the best movies ever made. I won’t spoil the law of love explored within, but it’s the core law about love.