Romance in Literature and on the Screen

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Re: Romance in Literature and on the Screen

Postby Fighting fate » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:12 am

^^^ as can be seen i find this topic very interesting also :D . lulu, i have to say i totally can relate to what you said about after watching or reading a romantic movie/book, it leaves you wanting to reach out to your loved one, and just love them in a better way. Reading about Edward's and Bella's other wordly all or nothing love, it makes you want to aspire to have a love as strong as theirs, maybe not the same type of relationship dynamic, but its hard to deny that a love like their's is desirable and admirable. And it doesnt matter if your in a relationship, married, or whatever else, everyone needs to be loved. And i find that after reading or seeing a romance unfold before my eyes, seeing and feeling everything they are going through, i become so absorbed in whats going on in their lives, it makes it very real to me. Getting swept up is half the fun of romantic stories. And though sometimes a romanitc story can give the wrong impression, making young and vulnerable people have unattainable expectations for their own relationships, overall i think it leaves people feeling that love and romance are very strong and desirable aspects of life. When i read twilight or anything else with and epic love story it makes me want to hold on to my guy, and be an all around better girlfriend, in hopes to have a love and romance like the fictional characters i read about.
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Re: Romance in Literature and on the Screen

Postby lulu » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:15 pm

fighting fate, i like what you said about it encouraging others to attain that level of relationship. i just hope they realize it takes work to get there and that there will always be some downs mixed with the ups. :)

everyone: it's funny how important to me including good romance is. for example, i remember wanting to cry at the end of harry potter that jkr didn't include something more substantial with harry and ginnie. if i remember correctly, right after that huge fight, it was something like, 'i saw ginnie as i was looking for ron and hermione and thought i should stop and see her but knew we would spend endless days together in the future so i kept going.' i was like, what?!! after such a fight the first priority would be to see her and make sure everything's alright--emotionally and physically, and to just reconnect and hold each other and be thankful they're both alive. can you image edward ever thinking, 'oh there's bella, but i need to talk to carlisle first, i'll have her close to me for eternity.' NO. i can't. even if she were in a box made of diamonds and was never touched, edward would have been to her and checked her over 3 times before he did anything else. anyway, i just think the comparison is funny. i realize the audience is different, but i don't care. love is love. that move made me feel like either harry was immature or he didn't really love ginnie yet.

what do you think?
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Re: Romance in Literature and on the Screen

Postby Esme echo » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:40 pm

I think another dimension of relationships that is often overlooked is the effect of the involved people's personalities. We tend to treat others the way we like to be treated -- which is not necessarily the way to make our partners feel loved! Perhaps Harry was a more driven, practical, "Red" personality, who wasn't demonstrating a lack of love, just an awknowledgement that taking time to connect with Ginny when she was obviously doing fine was unreasonable in the face of other -- more imperative -- matters. Someone more driven by intimacy -- a "Blue" -- would never have made that decision. I think Edward was much more driven by intimacy than Harry.
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Re: Romance in Literature and on the Screen

Postby lulu » Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:51 pm

hmmm, point taken. it does seem like harry's motives throughout the series are based on love of family and friends though. the part i mentioned doesn't seem very consistent to me with that. i guess i'm saying i'm sure he is a "red".
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Re: Romance in Literature and on the Screen

Postby Esme echo » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:48 am

I don't dispute Harry's love for family and friends, but I remember many times when his getting the job done was more important than relationships: a classic red characteristic. The example that comes most readily to mind is when Ron was such a brat over Harry's name coming out of the goblet of fire. Harry's best friend is treating him like dirt, but Harry just keeps on going, regardless. He was unhappy about it, but not destroyed. He was glad when Ron grew up a bit and owned his jealousy, but his course never wavered. (Not a perfect example; Harry wasn't all that enthusiastic about the Tri-Wizards competition, was he?)

Nevertheless, a primary characteristic of Reds is that they are driven, and Harry was definately driven: to prove himself, to protect others, to survive.

Edward, on the other hand, frequently threw responsibility and family obligations "over the wall" to spend time with or protect Bella--even if it was only to watch her sleep! He was a much more relationship/emotionally driven young man than Harry.
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Re: Romance in Literature and on the Screen

Postby lulu » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:10 am

you're right. that's interesting. :)
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Re: Romance in Literature and on the Screen

Postby GrayceM » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:37 pm

This is an excellent discussion. :clap: I do not have a lot of time at the moment so I'll start with this and add more later.

I find that the romance of the book was much more palpable than in the movie. But that is almost always the case, for me. It's easier to feel the emotion in the written words than for an actor/actress to portray all the erratic thoughts and emotions that go through your mind when around someone you are fascinated with. Especially, someone who is supposed to be a teenager. Let's face it, teenage emotions are normally all over the place on a regular basis.

I loved the lengths that Richard's character went to just to be with someone, (Somewhere in Time) and how he was so sure about her that it kills him in the end to have to face the next 60 years without her. It wasn't about being with her sexually, just about being close to her. Being able to touch her, embrace her, see her. She took his breath away.

From the Twilight perspective, I thought that there were a lot of things in the book that were romantic. Some of the most romantic lines/events to me were all of the things that Chernaudi mentioned in the initial post. ..."touching, sensual, funny, tense, slightly angsty, heart-racing, humorous and an expression of feelings for the ones we love." Being in a wonderful marriage after a extremely heartbreaking long term relationship, you get some perspective on expressions of love. I had someone ask me once, "How do you tell him you love him?" and there are literally thousands of ways. How I say I love you and how he says I love you may be different also. You have to know how your partner, spouse, significant other expresses those feelings to grasp the true emotion behind the words.
Example comes to mind from Twilight: "Don't be self-conscious," he whispered in my ear. "If I could dream at all, it would be about you. And I'm not ashamed of it." :swoon:

My husband may "tell" me that he loves me by taking me to work when the weather makes the roads treacherous. It doesn't mean that he doesn't tell me too.
I am not a romance reader, in general. I think the level of romance in the average novel leads to unrealistic expectations in life. It's believing all the fairy tales. It makes life more dramatic than it normally is. The same is true for smut/porn. It has it's place and there is a time for both, but romance for me is somewhere in between. No one is completely blissfully happy all the time, nor are they horribly sad. If my range of emotions were that extreme or jumping back and forth, I would be contacting my physician for medications...

I find that the whole honeymoon scene was very tastefully done, but then I've always liked "tan lines". By separating the general population into those two categories; those who like tan lines and those who do not like tan lines, we find the difference in tastes. To explain; I like tan lines because they hint at something that is not normally seen. You have to use your imagination to see what's covered up. Those who do not like tan lines, normally prefer to see and hear all the gory details. For me, imagination is normally better than reality. There's nothing attractive about a naked man...now a nearly naked man...whole different level of attraction. Just my opinion though. :oops:

I have a friend who still has not seen Twilight. She read the books and refuses to extinguish her imagination by putting the actors/actresses in place of the ones she sees from the story.

More later...

I had so much going through my mind while reading the posts in this topic I had to take notes.

Esme echo wrote:Edward, on the other hand, frequently threw responsibility and family obligations "over the wall" to spend time with or protect Bella--even if it was only to watch her sleep! He was a much more relationship/emotionally driven young man than Harry.


I'd like to comment that one important difference between Harry and Edward other than their mortality, is Harry's story essentially is not about romance/love. His story is about triumph over evil and a big part of his reason for triumph, at least in the first 6 books, is because of his family and dedication to his friends. Romance and love are on hold for a later time, if the epic final battle is survived. I had to analyze the possible reasons for my own sake, because I thought the same thing when he left the school and Ginny didn't go with them at the beginning of DH. Rowlings gave the majority of them their HEA and the story ended how it should have. We don't go through epic battles without losing some dear friends.

But for Edward, he has been waiting for over 90 years for Bella. He has already "survived" his final battle with mortality so to speak. His story is all romance and epic love. It doesn't diminish his feelings for his family but defines it even before he realizes it by his willingness to stand against them, a couple of them anyway, to protect her. He has already instinctively included her with himself without fully understanding why.
With the divorce rate so high today, most people believe that your family is more permanent than your marriage. But Edward was from a different time. A time where the majority of couples did not divorce. You worked hard to be with the person you wanted to be with, if it wasn't arranged marriage, and it was "'Til death do us part". You did court that person for a year or more without ever being alone with them. Edward's highest priority after meeting Bella was to be with her regardless of where that took him, and regardless of what he had to endure. Her being human is what kept putting his family in jeopardy from outside forces, but I don't think his devotion to his family changed. I think it's more that he is forced to react differently to the given situations because he now has Bella to protect. His family would never had had as much trouble with James/Victoria or the Volturi if Bella had not come into their lives. She is the catalyst that changes his entire existence.

While Edward has lived through all the years and would try to blend in with humans, I do not think that he would change his basic beliefs in moral or respectable behavior just because something is acceptable in society today. He was fairly open about his beliefs that a sin is a sin, no matter how great or small. He contradicts himself quite a bit, but I think that with his human instincts resurfacing, he also tries to regain some sense of his old life.
And with Edward being so "old-fashioned" Stephenie did an excellent job of limiting the degree of intimacy we get to see. I do not think anything would be gained in the story telling by adding in the more more risque parts. Sometimes more is just more. I think her "fade to black" left you with the feeling that their private moments are exceedingly private and while you may want to know more, you also don't want to intrude.
Last edited by GrayceM on Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Romance in Literature and on the Screen

Postby Esme echo » Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:22 pm

As I think about this, more dimensions of what translates into a truly romantic relationship come to mind. Something my husband and I have been talking about recently is communication. He has a hard time believing that when I ask him a question, I really do want a straight answer. I'm not beating around the bush, jockeying for a particular response, waiting to brain him for a "wrong" answer, or any other manipulative ploy--I want to know. It's a measure of our respect for each other that we can communicate honestly, without hurt feelings--because we are both confident in the other's regard.

This is something Bella entirely lacked. All through the first three books of the Saga Bella was unsure of Edward's lasting regard. To me, uncertainty in the genuineness of my loved-one's regard would cause "romantic" moments to feel somewhat desperate; because . . . good as it feels now, it could end!

With open and unselfish communication, partners can help one another, support one another, and comfort one another. Romantic moments are real, not temporary, and such moments strenghthen the relationship.

I'm reading Anna Karenina now, and it describes some of the most emotionally dysfunctional people I've ever read about. All the major characters habitually make incorrect assumptions about what people are thinking and what their motivations are, then go off on them as if their assumptions were true. Lives are destroyed and lost because of these crazy perceptions that run rampant over every relationship!

No, I don't think you can have a truly romantic relationship if you're running for cover, or not sure whether your lover will be gone in a few weeks. Without honest and open communication, you're hiding who you really are -- a recipe for ending a relationship, not sustaining a romance.
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Re: Romance in Literature and on the Screen

Postby smitten_by_twilight » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:16 am

I've read and re-read posts on this topic, and reviewed my thoughts for a couple of days. Interesting topic, Chernaudi, there are many shades of opinion and none really wrong.

I have found myself frustrated by the lack of more-explicit sexuality in Breaking Dawn (clearly there was simply none going on earlier), to the point of wanting to write a scene following up on the honeymoon night. I was a couple of paragraphs in when I realized that the whole thing could only be interpreted metaphorically. There's no way there was any significant action going on out there! :o (1. Stinging salt and gritty sand - yuck. 2. Edward would be much too concerned about Bella drowning.) So the scene was so romantic and sexy, really, that I completely missed its unreality for several re-reads. Thinking about it in more detail I find that scenes that are explicit often miss out on both sexiness and romance for me. Who did what is not particularly interesting because it carries little emotional significance. How it's done, the emotions and words, the individuality is much sexier. Although leaving things to the imagination can be overdone. One of the most disappointing lines to me in the whole series is, "My skin was so sensitive under his hands, too." (Really. I'm sure she was distracted, but that's ALL that was going through her head?)

And then, romance sometimes has nothing to do with sex. I think "Carlisle was right" are three of the most romantic words ever. He cares nothing for death, if only he can be with her again, even if they are both in hell (both suicides as he thought at the time [suicide-by-Volturi for Edward], and also convinced that he was a monster).

To return to something from the beginning that no one has brought up since, I have been a little worried about the impact of Rob and Kristen's pretty evident relationship on how they play these scenes. I think it may be mixed. We've seen the images that seems to show Kristen in a bodysuit, and the green screen bikini, so she must have a no-nudity clause in her contract. It must be especially difficult to maintain your role, even when you are so familiar with the role as they are, when you're engaged in that kind of scene with someone you MAY have known privately in that kind of role. It might be hard to focus and/or relax. And then you're surrounded by crew, not to mention papz trying to get shots. In the DVD commentary for Eclipse SM and the director (sorry, memory lapse as to his name) talk about tricking them into that little leg lift that fans recognize as significant and how Kristen ran in and out to consult about her performance for that scene. So they recognized the tension and tried to help. And then, although Rob has been doing sex scenes for Remember Me, Bel Ami, and maybe WFE (can't remember), I don't recall seeing Kristen in sex scenes before this. On the other hand, they have an obvious physical comfort level with each other as Bella and Edward, so that should be helpful. In the end, I hoping that with Rob's and Kristen's skill and professionalism they will pull it off, although they may end up running through a lot of takes. (I can think of worse ways to spend my time, though! :lol: )
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Re: Romance in Literature and on the Screen

Postby drJ4twilight » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:10 am

:heartbroke: Wow, what an uplifting chat here about the expression of love. Reading other people's views about love, and hearing different ideas broadens your own experience, inspires you to try new things and relate to people in different ways. One the most gorgeous and moving points made is how the twilight books help to promote a more positive, caring loving atmosphere in real life relationships, encouraging individuals to be more thoughtful and considerate towards each other - these are the special ingredients of lasting love. The twilight books have so recaptured/revived a long lost timeless, magical courteous code of conduct of love - much needed in this busy, high-tech modern world. Good to capture that. :)
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