Romancing the Movies by Alison Bruce

"Joanie, you are now a WORLD-CLASS hopeless romantic."
"No, hopeful. Hopeful romantic"

Joan Wilder hooked me, from the opening of Romancing the Stone when she was finishing up her latest romance novel, to when she climbed aboard Jack Colton's yacht (which is being towed through Manhattan). This was my kind of love story: a romantic comedy. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, love is too important to be taken seriously.

I remember thinking that the first time I made out. None of the serial romances I had read in Women's Weekly prepared me for the weird slurpy sounds two people could make when French kissing. No one ever bumped noses or got his earring caught in his partner's hair (which has happened both ways for me). 

Joan Wilder was a successful romance author with a very unsuccessful personal life until she went to Columbia to rescue her sister. She lost dignity and her expensive Italian shoes in exchange for a hero that was nothing like the paragons she wrote about. I never fell in love with Jack, but I loved the woman Joan became.

"I only made one mistake." 
"What was that?" 
"I should have sold you when I had the chance."

Actually, my favourite line from High Road to China is: "The oxen are slow, but the earth is patient." But that has nothing to do with romance.

Eve Tozer is a spoiled rich girl but she flies a biplane almost as well as the hero, Patrick O'Malley. O'Malley is a boozing, cynical fly-boy, but he stands by his word to guide Eve to China. Both are irritating at the beginning and grow on you as the story progresses. The most romantic line in the movie harks back to the rockiest part of their relationship.

It doesn't hurt that Patrick O'Malley is played by Tom Selleck, but the character has a similar appeal to Brendan Fraser's Rick O'Connor in The Mummy. Both are has-been heroes, jaded by war, who regain their heroic status. They talk tough, but they are gentlemen at heart, standing up to bullies and protecting the weak.

Evelyn Carnahan's expertise is Egyptology and dead languages, but she's every bit as talented and determined as Eve Tozer. 

"Look, I... I may not be an explorer, or an adventurer, or a treasure-seeker, or a gunfighter, Mr. O'Connell, but I am proud of what I am."
"And what is that? "
"I... am a librarian."

O'Malley/O'Connor. Eve/Evelyn. Maybe Stephen Sommers enjoyed the High Road to China as much as I did.

You'll note that my favourite romantic comedies also happen to by adventure movies. You might also say that my favourite adventure movies are also romantic comedies. 

How do you romance the movies?



  1. Alison,
    I love all three of those movies! Silly, fun, and with women I enjoyed taking the ride with.


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