True Love

The infamous “they” claim that romance novels have destroyed any sense of realistic views of love for women. They say guys don’t really stand a chance because they could never live up to the hype of the romantic characters in books and movies. I can understand that. But the problem for me is I hate romance novels and there are very few “chick flicks” that maintain my interest.

I’m a Marvel Comics, Red, Sin City, No one Lives, action/thriller/horror kind of a gal. I want the kind of love you see in those kinds of movies…for example, when the hero or anti-hero’s girl gets kidnapped, everyone in the audience (AND eventually the person who did the kidnapping) all say “Oh shit, he’s gonna pay for that when so and so finds out.”  And they’re right.

Well then. You can imagine how disappointing it can be to live and love in the “real world.”

It’s not that I hate the idea of my man showing up with a bouquet of field-picked flowers or learning origami just so he can fold me a paper figurine of my favorite bird. That’s all well and good, but what really spoils my idea of love and romance are the love stories shown in the action films, even when they don’t mean to be love stories.

Dance of the Dead (Masters of Horror series, not the movie): When anti-hero Jak and heroine Peggy are face-to-face with the bad guy in a dismal and dangerous post-apocalyptic world, Jak steps in front of Peggy to protect her from getting shot. The great thing is that it wasn’t one of those dramatic thrusts where he flies through the air, arms flailing, to intercept the bullet. It’s the ease in which he does it. There’s no fanfare but also no hesitation. He just smoothly steps in front of her and into the line of fire as soon as he sees the gun come out. Slick as anything. And better than flowers and romance any day.

Dance of the Dead

Dance of the Dead — Jak and Peggy

Iron Man 3: (Potential minor spoiler) Tony Stark’s house is getting blown into confetti by a flurry of missiles. Yet even with so much chaos and panic and fire and noise, his first thought is to protect Pepper. As he’s being blown through the air by the explosion, Stark immediately sends the very cool Iron Man suit to cover her and protect her from the debris while he bears the brunt of the attack himself. It’s not so much the act, but rather that it was his first, involuntary thought. He didn’t think, “I could use the suit, but nah, I’ll give it to Pepper. That’s what a good boyfriend does.” The choice didn’t exist in his mind. His thought process went immediately from “Danger” to “Protect Pepper” without any steps in between. That’s love.

Iron Man 3 — love in the Marvel Universe

The Crazies: Timothy Olyphant’s character couldn’t flee the infected zombie-like people because his wife was somewhere in the town.  Oh, he could’ve saved himself, sure, the opportunity was there.  But he had to find her.  Another guy was leaving and was incredulous that Timothy Olyphant was staying.  Timothy Olyphant’s character said to the guy: “Don’t ask me why I can’t leave without my wife, and I won’t ask you why you can.” Who wouldn’t swoon at such devotion?

The Crazies -- the wife he couldn't leave behind

The Crazies —  he couldn’t leave her behind

No-one Lives:  Don’t even get me started on this one.  Suffice it to say the title is an apt description of what happens after the seriously anti-hero’s love interest is killed.  The fact that the anti-hero was a bit of a whack job himself does not lessen my admiration of his dedication whatsoever.  Not sure what that says about me.

No One Lives -- a whack job, but dedicated

No One Lives — a whack job, but dedicated

The Notebook: “Well, if you’re a bird, I’m definitely a bird.” Oh, Ryan Gosling. That one just kind of speaks for itself. He says it like a math equation. A statement of fact. Nothing to question. I know, I know, it’s not an action-y movie at all. Hey, what can I say? The Notebook was an amazing movie even for someone like me.

If you're a bird, I'm a bird.

If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.

So the movies I like to watch have shaped my expectations.

Unfortunately the movies I like the best are not always your typical romances. Flowers, candy, all that is easy.  I want the kind of love that drives the guy to fight an army of the undead or break into the Russian Consulate to regain what was taken from him.

I doubt I’ll ever have the need to be encased in special armor during an attack and somehow I don’t think I’ll ever get snatched by the CIA in a convoluted plot or even chased by zombies. But the specifics aren’t what I pine for. It’s the intensity. That, I believe, can exist in this world. If not and it’s just generic love stories like you find in Cameron Diaz movies then I’m screwed.

21 thoughts on “True Love

  1. I HATE romance movies! The ones where they “get the girl” at the end and that revelation always shocks people. My favourite “romance” movies, they either die or they can’t be together for some reason.
    For example, “Moulin Rouge”, “Phantom of the Opera”, even Doctor Who…River Song dies (but gets saved kind of) in the end. It’s only something that I’ve realised this year as well,lol
    I don’t like the “usual” romance movies,lol.

  2. I don’t read romance novels…ever. I like females who save themselves and their men know they can do it. Tomb Raider, Alien, Terminator, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Books: Karen Murphy, in The Dresden Files, Suzie Shotgun in the Nightside novels. They are partners who would gladly die for each other but they know they are equals and trust each other to take care of themselves in a fight. That’s romance to me. LOL I like it when women say, “Get out of my way,” and then save themselves, while the men in their lives love them for what they are…strong, independent and capable. 🙂

    • If all the woman does is scream in “old school” damsel in distress fear and anguish and can’t even help herself, it’s ridiculous and stupid and vapid. Characters like that are so annoying. The women in the movies I mentioned were definitely not shrinking violets. You should try a book called “No one to Trust” by Iris Johansen if you haven’t read it yet. It’s a very good action thriller with a definitely NOT typical romance thrown in (just the kind you describe!). I bet you’d like it. It was really an entertaining read.

    • “Books: Karen Murphy, in The Dresden Files, Suzie Shotgun in the Nightside novels.”

      Wow. Those are actually my two favorite book series. (Nothing like some quality urban fantasy with detective noir.)

      I noticed the “strong” independent types that both Karen and Suzy are but it makes both of them almost impossible to love as they are never “vulnerable.” This is taken to the extreme with Suzy though John breaks down the barriers later in the series.

  3. Interesting choice of movies that you listed. Here’s a thought:

    Perhaps love – true love – is less deliberate intention then it is something that is a kind of passionate instinct. Notice Tony Stark’s first thought is about Pepper’s safety. That seems to be more instinctual then a, “Oh, I wonder if Pepper is okay. Hope so.”

    Instinctual might not be the right word, but I hope you get what I mean.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting! I get exactly what you mean — that’s my point too. Like with Tony Stark, it was his first thought — he didn’t have to reason it out, he just did it. Same with Dance of the Dead. No thinking, no pondering, just smoothly sidestep in front of the gun. They don’t have to think about what they’re going to do, it’s just second nature to them. I think you hit the nail on the head with instinctual.

  4. Loved this! I’m not into the typical romance novels, chick flick movies, either. I must confess to having a thing for the “bad” guys though, as I always seem to gravitate toward the Loki type characters more than the Thor’s. They’re not really bad guys, just misunderstood! 😉 If you want to see a fantastic “love” story, the new Dracula film should be right up your alley. It was terrific! But who doesn’t love Dracula, right? The bad-ass one, not the one who sparkles! 🙂

    • Thanks! I’ve been wanting to see the new Dracula movie! I love the old-school style vampires (not crazy about sparkly ones). I’m hoping to get out to see it this week before it leaves the theaters. The actor who plays Dracula was also the lead character in “No One Lives,” the movie I mentioned in this entry. And as for Loki, come on he is the BEST! 😉

  5. Since the last film you recommended was so good, I’m going to have to find both “No One Lives” and “The Crazies”. I’m sure they’re right up my alley! 🙂 Hope you’re feeling better!

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