Episode 02 – LOVE
This week our topic was love, and we know whatever we have to say has been said before and said better by countless poets and singers and actors… basically Enrique Iglesias… you should just ask Enrique Iglesias.
So we looked back at pop culture to find the roots of our love. (Roots of Love? Is that an Enrique Iglesias song?).
First, upon reflecting on love stories I noticed three things in all the different stories I considered for this week. The best stories seemed to have three common elements.
- An element of fate
- An element of tragedy
- An element of risk
I picked Four Weddings and a Funeral (Mike Newell, 1994) It has all the classic love story tropes, but subverts then just enough for it to feel fresh and new. Plus, I love uncomfortable British humor.
It’s also sappy, which I don’t list as a fault. I like an element of snappiness. I think balances out with the tragedy. And a good love story for me has to have a tragedy, like salt with sugar.
Chris’ pick this week the anime classic, Robotech, (Harmony Gold, 1985) has perhaps the ultimate tragedy to go along with this triangle love story, namely, the end of civilization. Alien invaders have descended upon the earth, and humans now must fight for their very existence among a global war.
Like all the best science fiction it incorporates what is true about humanity. What makes us human? And in this series it focuses on love. It turns love into the ultimate weapon. When the aliens hear music or see two human’s kissing it sends their society into such a panic they can no longer fight. The series explores infatuation, and sacrifice, and commitment. It talks about family and friendship, and how without love we are nothing more than killing robots.
It’s the connections we make with others. In Four Weddings and a Funeral its the close bonds of the group of friends who we follow from wedding to wedding. In Robotech its the “band of brothers” on the main SDF-1 spaceship, and in Cliff’s pick this week its a literal family.
In The Wizard, (Todd Holland, 1989) we find two brothers on a road trip to attend the ultimate video game championship. Along the way they learn about each other, and what it means to be family. This movie has a high element of risk because of how young the brothers are. Risk is that moment in the story where it breaks free from normal life. Instead of either going along with what’s expected of you, or following conventions, the characters take a risk, and it leads to their deeper understanding of family.
Fate brings people together. Risk gives the characters agency over their own story, and Tragedy helps us understand exactly how much someone means to us. What’s your favorite love story? Is it a romantic movie? A movie about family? There’s a whole genre about Love of nature and bonds with animals. Let us know some of your favorite love stories, and why you love them so.
There are a million love stories. See if your favorites also have fate, tragedy and risk. Here are a couple more we like.
- Black Stallion
- Rain Man
- Pride and Prejudice.
- Age of Innocence
- Time Traveler’s Wife
- When Harry Met Sally
- Fault in our Stars
- Before Sunrise
- Fried Green Tomatoes