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Kekken
2009-05-29, 06:30 PM
In way too many romantic stories, the girl has a choice of two (or more, sometimes), men, but only one choice is shown to be the right one. The rivals will often shown to be snobbish, or have a cruel streak, or only be interested in her for either her looks or her money.

I, personally, prefer stories where there is no clear cut right choice or wrong choice. Other genres have done this reasonably well. Good war movies come to mind. But romance seems to fall flat when it comes to this.

In fact, Casablanca is possibly the only movie I know where both men who love Ilsa are shown to be equally worthy in their way, but I'm not sure it counts as a romantic film or as film noir (or both).

Actually, come to think of it, I also remember a film I saw on World Movies once. Can't remember the name, but it was a Japanese film set in the Edo Period (I think), of a geisha in love with two men. Both of them were shown to be thoughtful, compassionate men who both truly loved her. One was rather poor, however, and the other a wealthy landowner. Neither was the designated "bad guy". In the end, all things being equal, she chose the wealthier of the two, which I liked. I thought it was realistic. I'm fairly certain most of us would choose someone who made us happy and comfortable rather than someone who will just make us happy.

Can anyone point me to other films like this, where the choice is not glaringly easy?

Closet_Skeleton
2009-05-29, 06:50 PM
I've heard Pearl Harbour is like that, for all the wrong reasons.

I don't think it's what your looking for but Superman Returns sort of counts I guess.

It's a manga and the genders are flipped, but Ichigo 100% was surprisingly good at making every one of the protagonist's love interests sympathetic, despite it being a bunch of fanservice aimed at 14 year olds. It gets to the point that it can only end in tradgedy since 2/3 people are going to lose. That's mostly a contrievance, since the protagonist is pretty average and the other girls could conceivably find someone else.

If that film had Geisha, it would be set in the Edo period, since Geisha are an Edo period thing.

The idea of "one true love" that's especially prevailant in western literature and Hollywood usually means that one man will end up being the "false love". The alternative is a spare woman to pair the unlucky guy with or to kill the other guy off.

Casablanca has both love interests being sympathetic because of the involved adultery. The moral guardians in Hollywood wouldn't let them show adultery as a good thing, so the woman had to end up with her husband and the husband had to be the right choice.

Fri
2009-05-30, 08:54 AM
I always like the unlucky fiance more.

Helanna
2009-05-30, 10:05 AM
My friend and I were once talking about something like this. Often, a woman will be choosing who to marry: A rich guy she wants to marry for money, or a poor guy she wants to marry for love. The rich guy is never, ever portrayed as nice or even a choice for love. Are rich people unlovable?

Kuma Da
2009-06-03, 11:23 PM
My friend and I were once talking about something like this. Often, a woman will be choosing who to marry: A rich guy she wants to marry for money, or a poor guy she wants to marry for love. The rich guy is never, ever portrayed as nice or even a choice for love. Are rich people unlovable?

No, but those of us who aren't rich need all the advantages we can get. :smalltongue:

Starscream
2009-06-04, 12:19 AM
I thought Pleasantville did this rather well.

All the citizens start out as sitcom stereotypes, with one dimensional personalities. As they start to diverge from the "script", the typical Housewife falls for the diner owner (who is becoming less of a comic relief and more sensitive and artistic) and has an affair with him.

The Husband character is initially only concerned with how this will affect his dinner until he too starts to develop. Then he realizes that he truly loves his wife and would do anything to make her happy.

The ending leaves it up in the air which man she will end up with.