When Hollywood romance tales would be real-life loserville
By RICHARD ROEPER February 13, 2013 5:14PM
Valentine’s Day often brings about lists of the most romantic movies of all time, from “Casablanca” to “He’s Just Not That Into You,” and I’m kidding about one of those titles.
One of my favorite romantic comedies is “Love Actually,” which features most of the known British actors in the world in a series of sweet, smart, funny and poignant adventures of the heart. Some of these stories have the happiest of happy endings; others are quite bittersweet.
Falling into the latter category is the story of the best man at a wedding who’s madly in love with the bride.
Andrew Lincoln, now best known as Rick on “The Walking Dead,” plays the lovelorn little guy, who is given the task of videotaping the ceremony and the reception, and Keira Knightly is the object of his obsession. She’s utterly unaware of his feelings — until she pops in the tape of the wedding and finds out her new husband’s best friend kept the camera fixated on her throughout the proceedings.
Later, our newlyweds are at home when the doorbell rings. Lazing on the sofa, the husband tells her wife it’s probably yet another round of Christmas carolers, and can she get the door?
Guess who’s there, urging the wife to stay silent while he plays a Christmas song and holds up a series of flash cards? That’s right, it’s The World’s Worst Best Man.
The cards read, in part:
“For now let me say…without hope or agenda…just because it’s Christmas…to me, you are perfect, and my wasted heart will love you…Merry Christmas.”
He walks away. She chases him down and gives him a kiss before returning to her home, her husband, her life.
“Enough,” he tells himself. “Enough now.”
It’s all quite effectively, whimsically, wonderfully lovely in the movie — but ladies, I ask you to consider how you would react if this were to happen in your actual life. Would you:
A. Do what Keira Knightly did?
B. Tell your husband his best buddy is semi-stalking you?
I mean, come on. That wedding tape alone should have you contemplating whether you should get a restraining order.
This is the thing about so many of the most indelible romantic scenes from the movies: they really, really, really wouldn’t work in real life.
Show up with a boom box outside some chick’s window at the break of dawn, blasting “In Your Eyes” and standing there defiantly without saying a word? Yeah, she’s gonna love that.
Race through the airport with security chasing you, just so can tell the one that got way you’re not going to let her get away, and if she gets on that plane it’ll be the worst mistake she ever made? She’s going to say, “You idiot, why didn’t you just call me when I landed, or grab the next flight to Boston?”
Plant a big sloppy kiss on your platonic best friend of 10 years after you realize (cue Movie Trailer Voice-Over Guy) “Sometimes what you’ve been looking for your whole life, has been right next to you all along,” and she’s likely to give you a smack and say, “Ewwww! What did you do that for?!”
Embark on a romance without revealing your true identity or your actual job or some other huge secret for months, and then, after she finds out and says, “I never want to see you again!”, launching into a heartfelt speech that concludes with, “Everything else may have been a lie, but the way I feel about you — that was real”? Right. Good luck with that.
Also, think twice about getting her a puppy without asking first if she’d like a puppy.
Puppies are awesome, but they’re a lot of work.