How many of you burst into tears as I did, when Rhett Butler dismissed Scarlett O’Hara in this scornful manner? And how many of you felt that delicious tingling “down there” when, earlier in the film, he swept her into his arms and carried her up the winding staircase of Tara?
Reading romance is a private process, but watching a romantic movie is shared pleasure. Even if you’re alone, you know that millions of other viewers have experienced the same thrills, the same bubbling joy and the same heartache. Well, perhaps not the same—obviously each individual will react somewhat differently to the same film. Still, movies leave less to the imagination than novels, and I strongly suspect tend to evoke similar emotions, at least in people who have similar backgrounds and preferences.
Each of us has our own favorite romantic movies of course. My list includes “Earth Girls are Easy” (Jeff Goldblum and Gena Davis), “Romancing the Stone” (Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner), and “Bound” (Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon). As of last night, though, I’ve added a new film to the list: Guillermo del Toro’s recent release “The Shape of Water”.
If you haven’t seen this yet, don’t miss it. The fantastic acting and haunting sets would be enough to recommend it, but for romance fans, the draw will be the surprisingly physical love affair between Eliza, a mute orphan who works as a cleaner in a top-secret government research facility, and the amphibious creature held captive there in the name of science, politics, and the one-ups-manship of the Cold War era. It’s poignant, joyful, beautiful, and ultimately healing to watch this lonely young woman reach out to someone alien and yet very much like her.
I won’t say any more. Just go see it, okay? I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!