Love lessons from Hollywood
by Kate Neligan
The romantic film remains one of the most prominent and successful genres as evidenced by the many Disney princess movies and the dozens of highly successful rom-coms. One of the most romantic lines of all time is, “You complete me” from Jerry Maguire.
So what is the message Hollywood has sent to humanity about true love? Are we supposed to wait for our prince to come and save us or do we need someone to love us in order to feel whole?
In my opinion, those are fairy tales and real life is a bit more complicated. There have been a few breakout films lately that showcase more of an honest portrayal of the ups and downs in real relationships and what might be called genuine love.
In Before Midnight (recently released on DVD & VOD), the relationship between Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy’s characters shows the strength of real love. There were scenes that were so authentic, raw and difficult to experience, yet they showed what many couples go through as they spend years together and deal with the challenges of moving, raising children, and working. The romance, chemistry, and strong connection between two very different individuals was still there, but it was refreshing to see a level of realism in their relationship brought to the silver screen.
I also loved Now Is Good with Dakota Fanning because it shows what can happen to a relationship when one person is preparing to die. Again, because it was not filled with the regular script formula, it was touching and beautiful in the portrayal of the hard truths about life and love. I was inspired by the unconditional love that was showcased between this courageous and deeply connected couple.
And possibly the best message we can gather about love is from an unexpected film called Adaptation. In one powerful scene, Nicolas Cage reminds us, “You are what you love, not what loves you.” Thus we aren’t defined by someone else loving us.
Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Mastery of Love, says: “The whole world can love you, but that love will not make you happy. What will make you happy is to share all the love you have inside you. That is the love that will make a difference.”
This is the message about love that rings true for me. Even if Hollywood has often sent us a message that a knight on a white horse will come and rescue us, I believe that it starts with self-love. Movies have the power to heal and change the world for the better and, if done with authenticity, they can show us that we need to love ourselves in order to feel whole.
Instead of more co-dependent love stories, we need to create more mindful media with genuine messages about love, relationships, and romance. Then we can learn from the movies and begin to mirror the true love story for humanity in our own lives.
What are some of your favorite lessons about love that you have learned from film?Tags: Adaptation, Before Midnight, Hollywood, Jerry Maguire, Kate Neligan, Love, Mindful media, Movie reviews, Nicolas Cage, Now Is Good, Romantic comedies, Romantic film