Thursday, 6 May 2010

“I Love You, But I Don’t”

Don’t you hate it when the lovers don’t end up together? Damn, realism to hell I think everyone gets those pangs in the stomach when the credits roll and you realise that the lovers will be remain apart. The thing is, it works in films. So many classics have been memorable precisely because the lovers end up apart, it hurts, but it’s still true. It doesn't count when they die, so things like Titanic and Atonement don't count. I'm talking about those films where everyone ends up alive - but they also end up alone, living alone and not liking it.These are the five that I think do the deed best. Interesting enough, interestingly all five are Best Picture winners four are Oscar winners.
                    
Gone With the Wind (1939) (my review)
"Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn."
 Clark Gable doesn’t do much for me, granted I’m not the target audience for him to “do things to”. He’s a fine actor, but I just never go crazy for him. Of course, Gone With the Wind is all about Ms. Vivien Leigh who is completely riveting as our protagonist Scarlett. Unlike another entry, Gone With the Wind is often referred to as a love-story, at heart - something I never really see. I will admit though, Gable and Leigh do have some striking chemistry and that makes the film just a little more excellent.
                       
Casablanca (1942) (my review)
"Play it once, Sam. For old times sakes."
Ingrid Bergman is just lovely, and Bogey is no slouch himself. It's another one of those tragically memorable ones and with good reason, I suppose. I don't love it quite as much as the everyone else, but I do love it.There is much to love. True, the romance sometimes is secondary much of the plot - like with Gone With the Wind) and true it's a story that's more about coping with life's hardships than about love...but it's still a story about love at the end of it all.
                 
Annie Hall (1977) (thoughts on Diane)
"La-di-da, la-di-da, la la"

Of course the crux of Annie Hall lies in her become too mature for Annie Hall and in that way I suppose it's not so sad as pathetic. But I can't make a list like this without Woody. Sure, Alvy just can't commit and that's the very reason the relationship cannot survive - and therein lies the tragedy. They just cannot function together forever, no matter how good they are as one. True it's a comedy, but it's a bittersweet one.
            

Shakespeare in Love (1998) (my review)
"This is not life, Will, it's a stolen season."
It's true, like the others, the poignancy in this tale lies in the fact that the lovers don't end up with each other, but it's still sad. Palthrow and Fiennes work so well together, and we know it won't end well for love. Nonetheless, I can't help but get a little teary eyed as they part for the final time, and when that final image of Palthrow pops up walking on the beach...just magic. It's not wholly loved, but I love it enough to make up for the haters.
               
The Age of Innocence (1993) (my review)
"I think we should look at reality not dreams"

Yes, the last one's the one that didn't get that Best Picture win (or nomination), but I'll always pretend. Michelle Pfeiffer and Daniel Day Lewis are scorching even though they spend so much time apart, but little things like a kiss on the neck, a glove are all so erotic, and it's all so tragic. Scorsese knows how to direct tortured souls, and Newland and Ellen are two such souls. Unlike the above four, they don't even get to consummate their relationships and spend just a few moments of almost bliss. Heartbreakingly tragic.
                     
Which of these unrequited lovers thrill you the most? Which of your own would you add?

10 comments:

Simon said...

Shakespeare in Love.

Castor said...

More recently, (500) Days of Summer! I will go with Gone with the Wind though because of how the movie is and they don't even end up together!!

James D. said...

Annie Hall is always a good one, but Head-On is tops for me.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

simon good choice.

castor that came to mind, but as much as i like the iflm something's slightly off and i never really wanted him to end up with summer...

james ??? no idea what head on is.

Rachel said...

One reason Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is my favorite film is that the ending is left ambiguous as to Clem and Joel's relationship. They seem to end up together, but those last few seconds make it seem as though they go through the erasing process over and over, always breaking up. So in my mind they don't really end up together forever if they keep trying to forget one another, yet fate keeps pushing them together.

Great list!

Univarn said...

Cool idea!. I can't think of many films where the two were actually a couple, but there's lots of films I can think of where they hit that edge and ultimately don't end up together.

Movies like Once, Princess Mononoke, The Third Man, and Roman Holiday.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

rachel i did get that feeling, but i'd say they end up together finally...i guess i'm whimsical that way.

univarn hmm, roman holiday sounds like a good choice even if they were not really a couple...

Mrs. Thuro's Mom said...

I think most people who have seen them would agree with Casablanca and Gone With the Wind. Atonement is one of the most tragic movies I have ever seen, but I understand why it doesn't qualify for your list. A lot of people my age would probably want to add The Way We Were. Not one of my favorites, but I know a lot of girls who loved that one.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

mrs thuro's mom ugh, crap. totally forgot about the way we were, don't know if it would have made the five but definitely a good choice. that ending!

Pfan313 said...

Wow, you have just described exactly how I feel about 'the age of innocence'! I've been wanting to do a review on this movie on my blog for a while now, but I want to wait for the right moment. About the ending I was always sure, though. Anyway, really good work!