Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Who Killed the Love Story?

Stumbled across this curious article in Time on the disappearance of love stories from the movies. . . . most interesting to me was some of the cynical, but probably correct, musings on modern love. What a sad and stark contrast to the Bible's teaching on love and relationships!

Who Killed the Love Story? - TIME

Here's a couple of paragraphs that really popped out at me . . .

But it's not just familiarity that breeds contempt for love stories. It may be actually getting harder to get people to believe in them, acknowledges Richard Curtis, writer of such indelible romances as Four Weddings and Notting Hill, because our expectations have changed. "If you write a story about a soldier going AWOL and kidnapping a pregnant woman and finally shooting her in the head, it's called searingly realistic, even though it's never happened in the history of mankind," he notes. "Whereas if you write about two people falling in love, which happens about a million times a day all over the world, for some reason or another, you're accused of writing something unrealistic and sentimental."

More than anything, this is because what we see onscreen in those can-we-connect romances does not seem to have any relevance to what's happening around us. What now, for example, are the differences a man and a woman have to overcome to get together? Their lives look pretty alike. They worry about what they do, about whether they're maximizing their talents, about what others think of them, about the way they look, about if they will be able to make the money they need. A love interest is no longer an alternative to or solace from the rat race; she's another rat. As such, it's perhaps understandable that a suitor expects to be able to pull her over for a quick mating session and then get back on track. Where is romance in all that?

And it's not just happily-ever-after that has changed. The global nature of dating--the access to a limitless pool of mates just a click away--means that people feel they hardly need to overcome difficulties in relationships. If the whole getting-together thing proves too hard, they can just move on. Juliet's a Capulet? Bummer. Back to Facebook. Finding a soul mate is no longer a determined steeplechase over every obstacle. It's a numbers game--about as fraught with epic drama and desperation as recruiting a new middle manager for the nonperishables division. Perhaps it's not surprising that the romantic movie that most touched a nerve in viewers last year was The Break-Up.


Jacquelyn said...

Hmmmm.... I have always hated romantic movies/stories because they seem so unrealistic. Romeo and Juliet in particular since their iconic love affair spanned less than a week. Also, in the beginning of the play Romeo is actually in love with Roselyn (I think) and jumps from being in love with her, to being so in love with Juliette would rather die than live without her. Is this realistic? On the other hand you can't fit a lifetime of love, respect and "romance" into a 2hr movie or 300 page book, can you? Food for thought I guess.

Joe Pollon said...

Tim, the paragraphs you picked are key…

In days of old, building a real relationship required a real effort and involved a real reward.

A boy used to have to overcome many hurdles to gain the girl.
1) Build up the courage to ask her out.
2) Meet and seek approval from her parents.
3) Plan and pay for the dating. Multiple times.
4) Demonstrate his respect for her by being thoughtful & courteous.
5) Separate from his buddies and interests to invest time.
6) Control his lust.
7) Demonstrate a commitment and make sacrifices.
8) Endure sometimes-painful relationship ups & downs (growth).
9) Risk relationship failure.

A girl had to develop herself, personally and physically, enough to entice a boy to bother with all of the above.

The rewards were significant: a longer-term relationship (hopefully marriage) with interpersonal and physical intimacy. The Happily Ever After Story of the Love Story film (with more dramatically interesting versions of the efforts, of course.)

For teens today this courtship work is being dropped as a method of hooking up.

They’ve been raised on a lifetime supply of…
1) Hollywood encouraging easy, uncommitted sex.
2) Madison Avenue arousing everyone by using women as objects and sex to sell everything.
3) Feminism convincing women they should enjoy and won’t be hurt by sex with men they don’t know.
4) Permissive parenting.
5) Internet dating and MySpace that allows a no effort (and often fraudulent) pseudo relationship building.
6) Text messaging which eliminates the necessity voice communication.

..resulting in girls and boys who believe that physical intimacy in the absence of interpersonal intimacy or commitment is acceptable and expected. Thus, boys don’t need to put in the effort and girls are battered into offering themselves up for nothing. Both walk away disappointed and broken.

For too many teens (“the sweetest fruit on capitalism’s vine”) even a modern version of an old-fashioned love story set against their reality is depressing. And who wants to go to buy tickets for that?

Jeannett Gibson said...

Dear Mr. Theule,

It has come to our attention that it has been in excess of one month since you have posted a new topic on your blog. Please be advised that you are violating rule #1 of blogging, which, if you refer to Article II, Section 10.3b states: "If you are going to bother starting a blog, you better keep up on it." I understand that your brother is also under investigation for the same violation, and while we understand that many things are genetic, we fear that DNA analysis will do nothing to alleviate you of your duties in this matter. We trust that you will do the right thing and avoid further penalties.


The Blog Police

Joy said...

Hi, Tim. I just finished reading a great book by Rob Bell, entitled "Sex God." I gave a short review of it and included an excerpt on my blog just yesterday. If you have time, check it out.
your early morning rides sound so great for Cade. If only we lived in town so he could join you.