Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Story dates

Happy Valentine's Day!

With that disclaimer, I thought I'd share some of my favorite fictional love stories, and what makes them GOOD love stories, and some of my least favorite fictional love stories, and what makes them NOT good love stories. Some cliche (imagine the little accent mark on the e, por favor), some perhaps not. Consider them profiles for you to peruse when deciding on your next fictional story date. Here we go, in no particular order:

The movie 500 Days of Summer (2009, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel)

Love story? GOOD (and a little NOT SO GOOD, but in a good way).

Why? REALISM. (Sorry if the caps lock bothers anyone.) Tom immediately falls for summer. He wants commitment. For once it's not the girl begging for a ring. She doesn't know what she wants--except that it's probably not Tom, and she's quite up front about it. This movie has great scenes, great tension (something Thursday mentioned), great quotes, and a great lesson...and not an entirely sad ending, either. (The NOT SO GOOD part is added as a qualifier because my guyfriends think Summer is the spawn of Satan and whatnot. The ladies disagree.)

The movie Mean Girls (2004, Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams)

Love story? NOT SO GOOD.

Don't get me wrong. I love this movie. So. Much. But the love story always bothered me. Why? Cady never questioned the quick turnaround from Regina to her. I mean, the guy went back to Regina after dating her once (a warning sign in itself). Who dates someone like that...twice? Not a normal, healthy-minded potential boyfriend.
Though it was funny, so...whatever.

The book I just read: The Name of the Star (Maureen Johnson, 2011)

Love story? NOT SO GOOD.

Just like with Mean Girls, I LOVED THIS BOOK. So much. It kept me up til 2 am...just finishing. Then another three hours shaking under the covers. Because it actually scared me. Such a rarity. In a good way. Anyway. It's quite amazing that I liked this book so much because, in the back of my mind, I found the love story lacking. I wanted to know more about Jerome and Rory's relationship, but among all the other things going on I couldn't muster up the emotions to care that much. When the scenes focused on Jerome all I could think was, what are you doing? Serial killer! Out there! Focus! (This segues into a story tip: it's always nice when the love story also goes hand-in-hand with the story story. Then it all ties together and adds suspense and et cetera.)

The movie Titanic (1997, do I even need to name the actor?)

Love story? GOOD.

Why? It pulls you in. And yes, while the lines border on cheesy, this movie also set the precedent for cheesy. "Draw me like one of your French girls." "You jump, I jump, remember?" Not to mention the glamour of the ship, the always intriguing clash of the classes, oh, and the horribly sad ending. That's what defines the movie, really. So if this is your story-date, bring tissues as the wingman.

The Hunger Games series (Suzanne Collins, 2008, 2009, 2010)

Love story? GOOD (first book), NOT SO GOOD (overall).

Why? Re: first book, because it added a twist to the already twisty plot. And at the end of the book, the love story was what led me to Catching Fire. At that point I wasn't so interested in the rest. Peeta was sweet. His character really grew throughout the book, a development that make me really like his character as well as the relationship he had with Katniss.
Re: overall .......have you read Mockingjay?..........

Okay! What stories would you add to the mix? (Both good and bad!)