Romance comes in black and white with skinny eyebrows

Good morning world,

I had a spring in my step as I briskly walked to my local Starbucks this morning for my Grande Iced Coffee with two pumps of classic. Why do you ask? Well...ROMANCE. Not Lady Gaga's Bad romance. I mean the real, slow burn, moonlit kind of romance.

I think it's making a comeback. And nothing could convince me more than my movie selection last night. I curled up in bed with my laptop and clicked through the list of instant watch titles on netflix. I came across an old classic. Now, I usually have really good intentions to watch the old black and whites, but am never really in the mood. This time, I thought. YES. That one.

The flick?

"It Happened One Night" - the 1934 romantic comedy, oscar winner - directed by Frank Capra and starring Clark Gable (swoon) and crazy eyebrows lady, Claudette Colbert.

It was absolutely awesome in everyway. The stupid part about it is, that this movie totally got a nod in a very un-classic, campy, completely pointless blockbuster hit: Sex and the City 2. Big and Carrie curl up and watch the movie in a hotel room and later on she takes a cue from Claudette's tricky hitchiking ways when she shows off some leg to get a cab in Abu Dhabi whilst wearing an effing BURKA. It's ridiculous.

But "It Happened One Night" is anything but. Besides the fact that it doesn't happen one night, it happens over a bunch of nights, this movie captures some classic themes of oldtimey romance that I think can be lost on us in 2010. These days we know nothing about delayed satisfaction. We want what we want when we want it and we usually get it! Our fantasies and material needs and the answers to our questions are usually just one little click away. Sex and love and even our most private lives are broadcast so widely these days that almost nothing seems sacred. And the notions of propriety, modesty, principle, and respect seem completely oldfashioned.

Well, this is a huge shame. Because I think Romance lives in these values. It's right there in the movie. Clark and Claudette end up on a bit of a wild bus adventure from Florida to New York City, dodging con men and hiding out from the cops. Because they become travel partners, and it's the 30s and they have no dough, they sleep in the same room. Clark puts a rope across the room with a blanket on top and calls it the Walls of Jerico.
Nothing is getting through there. And even though there are many moments in the moonlight throughout the movie where the fabulously attractive and witty couple could kiss - they never do. THEY NEVER DO. Not on screen at all!!!!!!!! At the end of the movie, after we find out that they have eloped, we hear a toy trumpet playing as the walls of Jerico tumble to the ground. Fade to black.

(Nope! They don't kiss here either. IN A HAYSTACK)

You see, it's about the romance. NOT ABOUT THE SEX. We don't need to see Clark and Claudette get it on! We got to see them fall in love. We got to see them respect eachother and get excited and get mad and make hard decisions. One of my favorite scenes is towards the end. Claudette asks Clark if he thinks he could ever be in love.

Ellie Andrews: Have you ever been in love, Peter?
Peter Warne: Me?
Ellie Andrews: Yes. Haven't you ever thought about it at all? It seems to me you, you could make some girl wonderfully happy.
Peter Warne: Sure I've thought about it. Who hasn't? If I could ever meet the right sort of girl. Aw, where you gonna find her? Somebody that's real. Somebody that's alive. They don't come that way anymore. Have I ever thought about it? I've even been sucker enough to make plans. You know, I saw an island in the Pacific once. I've never been able to forget it. That's where I'd like to take her. She'd have to be the sort of a girl who'd... well, who'd jump in the surf with me and love it as much as I did. You know, nights when you and the moon and the water all become one. You feel you're part of something big and marvelous. That's the only place to live... where the stars are so close over your head you feel you could reach up and stir them around. Certainly, I've been thinking about it. Boy, if I could ever find a girl who was hungry for those things...
[she comes around the blanket "Walls of Jericho" and kneels by his bed]
(Her eyes are glistening with tears in that way they do in old movies)
Ellie Andrews: Take me with you, Peter. Take me to your island. I want to do all those things you talked about.

I mean, COME ON! It's amazing. And they DON'T KISS. He tells her to go get on the other side of the walls. This is the most romantic scene ever and they don't kiss.

Back in the day, Sex was not romance. But in 2010, it's the same thing. You will almost never see a movie where the romantic couple does not consumate the romance on camera. It would not be considered romantic if they didn't! But lust is not love. Love and romance bud out of those old values- respect and modesty.

Taking the time to know someone is very romantic, because it's tender and slow and noble. Love hangs out in Jane Austen books. Not in Pornos. That is why people love these stupid Twilight books. Ok? For no other reason, than that they are romantic. And do you know why they are romantic? Because Bella and Edward don't even do it until book fucking 4!!!!!! Book 4, Eclipse! Talk about delayed satisfaction! That's all the Twilight books are! He's a vampire so they can't do it. That's the reason it's so damn successful. Romance lives in that 'getting to know you' spot - in the yearning for someone - in the slow burn - not in the fast and the furious.

So the point of this is to add a little romance to your life. And I don't mean sex. I mean ROMANCE. Letters. Long talks. Walks in the moonlight. Gestures that are just because. Little cards. Little songs. Mixed tapes. Delayed gratification. Privacy.

Take your time getting to know someone! Even if it's not a love interest. Relationships are so much more interesting when it doesn't 'happen one night.' That's the brilliant thing about the movie. Love doesn't happen in one night. It happens over a sequence of nights and days and little moments here and there. A love affair is the collection of romantic moments shared between two people over a period of time - not a jaunt in the hay.

So now that I've solidified my status as a total Grannie. I hope you all have a very Romantic day! And ps> You don't need another man or woman in your life to have romance. Do something thoughtful and random for someone else today. Anyone! It could be your mom or your dog or your roomie. It will be sweet and tender and loving and definitely black and white movie worthy. xoxoxo

Listen/buy this song. I heard this man sing it at an open mic at the Gardenia. It encapsolates how I feel about Romance. It makes me cry everytime! It's called "Whatever Happened to Melody" by Ray Jessel.


  1. I really love this post! It's so true. I feel like dating is so rushed these days. Excellent points and well written.

  2. I love that this post exists. The decision to experience the grandness of small moments is a romantic ideal but it also is a very conscious, practical one. There is nothing casual, assumed, mediocre or common about a great romance- we have to look for it and be simple and open and ready for it! If we can write great stories and movies about it, I'm confident we can live it!

  3. OH yes, Richard! The extraordinary is in the everyday! Great romance can be found day to day when we enjoy the beauty around us. When a love affair is treated with that sort of care and respect, I think it becomes great!


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