Thursday, January 18, 2007

Good Romantic Lines Are Also Clever

In many instances, romantic lines in books and movies are not just romantic – they’re also clever. By clever, I mean that behind the words are one or more philosophical considerations that, in my opinion, add to the impact and romantic value of the line. To fully appreciate the cleverness and romanticism of the line, one of course must understand and appreciate the fullness of everything that preceded it. For example, in the wonderful movie, Casablanca, think about the depth of Humphrey Bogart’s famous line, “We’ll always have Paris.”

There are many excellent romantic lines – more than just the Top Ten. We’ll ever forget Tom Cruise, in Jerry Maguire, when he says, “You complete me.” Or Billy Crystal, in When Harry Met Sally, when he says, “I came here tonight because when you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” And I love Jack Nicholson’s line, in As Good As It Gets, “You make me want to be a better man.”

In my latest contemporary romance novel, Fear of Feeling Loved, the heroine, Marcia, thinks about the importance of “being” – existentially – as a person, as a human being. And after starting to fall in love with Jack -- and at times underestimating him -- she starts to wonder “what it would be like just to be with a man.” Later in the book, after having an extremely romantic and loving moment up in the cupola atop Jack’s house while watching sunset, the following conversation between them takes place:
“The sunset, just for the record, was the best sunset I’ve ever experienced,” Jack said. “But that’s not what I’m talking about."
"Okay. Then what was it that was ‘very important’ to you?”
“We were.”
"We were…”
“Exactly.”

Okay all you romantics out there – what are some of your favorite cleverly romantic lines?

Bill

2 comments:

Misa Ramirez said...

Marcia sounds like such an interesting character, Bill. I can't wait to read your book. Regarding those clever lines, I wonder if the writers KNOW those uttered remarks will the defining line(s) of their book/screenplay. I have to hope not, that they came organically and simply worked. Because I can't ever think up something clever when I'm trying. Actually, don't know if I can when I'm not trying. Maybe we'll find out one day!

Dr. Bill Emener said...

Hi Misa,
Thanks for your kind words regarding Marcia and sharing your experience. A few minutes ago I posted a Comment on your blog and in it said (from an Existential perspective), "I also think that our best stories are in us, and when we write we merely let them out." Sometimes I think I have come up with a real pearl of a line and no one even pauses, and at other times people have said something like, "Wow, what a great line," and I had to look twice to see to what line they were referring!
As I have said on numerous occasions, I think good writers write for themselves and let their stories unfold and their lines come out -- when readers label their lines as "clever," it's icing on the cake.
If I ever find out, Misa, I'll let you know... (and that just came out),
Bill