I like romance. I’ve taken Steven Pressfield’s lead on this one. Sex, he told me, is not important to his stories, so there is no reason to include it. I feel the same way about my stories. I have briefly touched upon sex only once, in The Olympian, A Tale from Ancient Hellas when Selene is ‘raped’ by Herakles.
Romance, however was a part of The Hamsa and Tobit and the Hoodoo Man, and even DWI, Dying While Intoxicated. I like the way I handled it, particularly in The Hamsa and Tobit where it truly was an integral part of both stories. I like romance.
Two romantic scenes in film will forever stand as benchmarks in romance for me, and both occurred in the early 90’s. Marie and I went to the movies much more back then than we do now.
The first occurred in the 1991 film Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Kostner as Robin Hood and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio opposite him as Maid Marian Dubois. In this particular scene, Robin Hood asks a favor of Maid Marian. “Will you do this for your king?” he asks. “No,” she replies, “I will do it for you.” Beautiful exchange between two heroic figures that supersede the historical events of the time.
The second occurred a year later in Michael Mann’s 1992 adaption of James Fenimore Cooper’s immortal Last of the Mohicans starring Daniel Day Lewis as the intrepid Natty Bumpo opposite Madeleine Stowe’s Cora Munro. As much as I like Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales that recount the adventures of Hawkeye, I believe that Mann’s screenplay bettered the book in no small part due to the creation of the romantic involvement of Cora and Natty. In one scene behind the waterfall as the Iroquois Magua played by Wes Studi are moments away from capturing the two, Hawkeye holds Cora in his arms and says, “Stay alive! I will find you.” He turns as the Iroquois shadows appear on the cavern wall and jumps through the waterfall to escape Magua. Worth watching again if you missed it the first time.
Now, an admission …. I enjoy “Daredevil,” which Marie and I watch on Netflix via Roku. It was the first ‘series’ we watched when we hooked up with Roku. Last week, we started watching season two. Last night, we watched episode four of the second season. It ended with a romantic scene that — I hate to admit it — tops both Robin Hood and Natty Bumpo. After celebrating the capture of ‘The Punisher,’ our blind hero Matt Murdock — Daredevil — shares a poignant and innocent kiss in the rain with his associate Karen Page. That is all I will tell you because it is a scene that words are inadequate to describe.
If you are a fan of romance as I am, hunt out those two ‘old’ films, and dial in to the fourth episode of the second “Daredevil” season. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.