Love in Movies
Friday’s prompt was to name the most romantic movie of all time. I love a good romance. Especially romance novels.
To choose one story to say it’s the most romantic, well, I’m not sure I can do exactly that, but I can tell you which one is my favorite.
While I am a huge fan of Gone With the Windand I also like newer classics such as Pretty Womanand Sleepless in Seattle, my pick for favorite is going to have to go to Sweet Home Alabama.
Yeah, I know. Some of you are cringing right about now.
Others are completely shocked that I am currently teaching a senior level films class. (Just for the record, the only film above shown in class is Gone With the Wind. It is a timeless classic. One of my personal absolute favorites!)
Something about Sweet Home Alabama speaks to something deep within me.
Perhaps it’s the fact that as a freshman I became very close to many people in the senior class. I watched as my freshman year came to a close as several of those seniors said what seemed to be permanent goodbyes not only to people but to our community as a whole. They felt held back, stunted, to sheltered by our small, rural community. They weren’t only setting out for college and an education, but they were running to new places that they saw as opportunities to become free to be the people they felt were trapped inside them.
I saw things differently. I saw people too weak to be true to themselves in the midst of people who would love and support them regardless of who they were. I saw people willing to turn their backs on community for anonymity. I saw people running from the best things they could possibly have to some of the greatest struggles they would ever face.
And in light of it all, I was jealous.
The first time I watched Sweet Home Alabama I bawled through the entire movie.
“You can take the girl out of the honky tonk, but you can’t take the honky tonk out of the girl.”
I was that girl. I was raised in the honky tonk. I loved the time I spent with my grandparents in that atmosphere.
But that wasn’t professional. It wasn’t hip or cool. No one else I knew hung out there.
I watched as Melanie Carmichael went home to confront her demons and discovered they weren’t demons, but angels.
The man she thought wouldn’t ever amount to anything? Yeah, he rose above her in both character and professionalism.
You can’t run from your roots, and you don’t get to choose who you love based on their profession, pocketbook, or proximity to where you work.
I wanted to throw something at Jake, her husband throughout the entire movie.
Why didn’t he fight for her? Why didn’t he show her what he had become? Make her come home and admit how much she still loved him? Why was he willing to just let her walk away without a fight?
Jake understood the old saying “If you love something set it free; if it comes back it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t then it was never meant to be.”
Jake knew that if she was to come back to him she had to do it on her own because she wanted to, not because he coerced her into it.
I’m still not pleased with that. I think he should have pursued her with everything he had.
Love doesn’t quit. She walked away to chase a dream. He quit.
In the end she realizes she does love him. Of course she does! She loves her little, rural town. She loves her crazy Civil War re-enacting daddy. She loves her mama that settled. She loves her heritage.
Our past, our community, our heritage makes us who we are. Yes, we can aspire to better ourselves. We can choose a profession outside of the norm for our locality. But a leopard can’t change it’s spots.
We are who we are whether we want to be or not!
That’s what so romantic about this movie. It isn’t about becoming someone else, but rather realizing who you were all along and finding love inside that person.