Scene at recent book club:
Member 1: Heathcliff and Jane! What a love story!
Me: Really? I don’t think they were really in love.
Scene at Indian café over cups of chai:
Friend 1: What did you think of “Cold War”?
Friend 1: You didn’t like it?
Me: I really liked the movie. I just didn’t think the characters were in love.
Friend 1: Really? I thought they were totally in love.
I can recount numerous scenes where I have said similar statements. Whenever I am discussing a love story of sorts, I tend to err on the side of: sorry, not sorry. I just can’t call that love.
I’m beginning to think I have a problem with the way love is depicted on screen or on the page.
Because love doesn’t make sense. It’s not logical. There is no proof or formula. I just have a hard time accepting this. I want to see the step by step progression of love. I want to know who, what, when, where and how. And if I don’t see it with my own eyes, I just don’t believe it.
Cynical. I know.
In a book or movie, what are the tip offs that two characters are in love? And I don’t mean one character saying to another “I love you.” Using those words- well- that’s cheating. Anyone can say the words- but there has to be actions supporting those words. What did person A do that shows why they love person B?
Let me be clear: I also think giving someone a gift is cheating. Giving someone a gift does not mean that you love them. There’s a scene in “Grace and Frankie” where Grace realizes that her then husband has bought a bunch of jewelry to give her just in case he screwed up. The gifts really have no meaning because he was just trying to diffuse difficult situations. Gifts must really matter: they must be given from the heart.
So my dear friends: when you are seeing two people portrayed as being in love, what are the tip offs? How do you know when two characters are actually in love? What is the greatest example of love between two characters that you have seen/read?