Writers have been writing love stories for as long as some of us can remember. Every plot needs a love affair. Isn't that right? well perhaps not. Who says that one cannot write a story without a romantic relationship. After all many individuals live without a significant other for at least part of their life. Then why can't we enjoy the life of a lonely gas station attendant that works into the wee hours of the morning and goes home to an empty bed, blown up to fit a theatrical release. Why can't we enjoy the utter loneliness of a human being. After all we are all lonely in our lives, aren't we. We have all shared the feeling of being completely alone in a room rich in walking talking bodies. Having that someone that cares about you could at times be just as lonely as having no one.
Why is hollywood stuck on love? Well for one thing the silver screen has often been considered a mirror for our dreams rather than a portrait of our reality. That projector in the back, and the sixty foot screen in front of us, isn't there to show us our lives. Hollywood is a glorification of everything. People in the movies don't look like us, they don't talk like us, they don't act like us. Though they seem to do all those things. Thats the art of the crew, the magician behind the curtains. They try to make you believe what is up there is you or your friends. So of course you can fall for a girl like Jessica Alba and she will love you too. Which draws us to think that the objective of a romance in a film is to make you believe that it could happen to you. To glorify a human need.
That explanation makes a lot of sense. We have dozens of cooking shows and that fulfills a basic human need. Why can't we have romance and have it fill another need. When you see a television chef prepare a meal, it looks as beautiful as a perfectly formulated romance on the big screen. It's the illusion that you can one day have that in your life, no matter how unlikely that fact might be. Lets be honest most of us will never cook that dish as Chef Ramsay did, and most of us will never get to make love to Angelina Jolie (not my personal taste). Most people that fall in love will live a life of mediocrity lacking excitement, as most people will resort to eating take out, or a below average meal. Movies make you challenge your mediocrity and make you dream.
It's the matter of hope. You can rob us of anything and everything, but the day you rob us of hope, you leave us with nothing. The story of pandora and her box is a great example of this. All the diseases of the world can be born by human kind if you give them one little ingredient, and that is hope. So we watch people fall in love on the big screen hoping we will one day too.
Is hope the only reason we have romance in our films. Well perhaps not, life imitates art imitates life. So the love you see on that screen does in fact resemble the love you share with another person. It is a reality. Maybe you weren't on top of they eiffel tower the first time you kissed, but didn't it feel like you were. Maybe your heart was beating a million miles an hour and you could barely control yourself, but when you think back now wasn't it beautiful? Love is life. If we aren't in love with someone we are hoping to be. If we are not with someone than we are pursuing someone, or maybe just hoping that that someone would turn around and read the love in our eyes.
Perhaps if you asked the lonely gas station attendant, he would tell you about Martha. Martha the hunched over dodgy eyed brunette that fills up at 5PM every day. She does it five bucks at a time because thats who she is. She makes him smile and she laughs at his jokes. He loves her more than he has ever loved a woman and he's waiting for the day when he can finally ask her out on a date. Now that's a film. Aren't we all waiting for that dodgy eyed brunette in our lives? Well maybe we aren't looking for those features, but we are looking for her. The films capture that thrust because writers live amongst us.
Either we are in love, or we are falling in love, or hoping we were in love. Films are a duplication of our reality. So yes every good story has a romantic sub plot to it. What would happen if it didn't. Is love the formula for every great masterpiece? Well not necessarily. Shawshank Redemption didn't glorify love as most films do, and it was perhaps the greatest film made. Not every film has to be about love, just as not every film has to show the main actors enjoying a meal.
So why do we put up with the monotony? Well because it makes sense. It's a subject that can be endlessly explored. We will never have enough of it. You can go through a million struggles in your life and you will still think about the girl you love as much as any of the other things, if not more. It takes up a lot of your mind and it takes up a lot of you. So when you sit back to watch a larger than life projection of life, romance makes it more credible, weather its real or not. Weather its a subplot or the main theme. Love is the ingredient of life, and therefore an ingredient to our art.
So go our there Live, Love, and Eat.