Monday, February 11, 2008
You've Got. . .a Favorite Movie
My friend Lori tagged me and our other friend Katrina for the 4 Things Meme recently. I noticed You've Got Mail popped up on both of their lists, and quite a few others I've seen around as one of the "4 Movies Watched Over and Over." I didn't include it on my list, but it is one of the few movies I own, and I have watched it over and over (it would probably be in the 5 to 7 range on my list).
It was on Fox family channel last night, so I tuned in. I was reminded why I (and many others) watch it over and over again. Why? Well, look at the subject matter. It's not only about books, but about two people for whom books are not only an avocation, but a true vocation! Email figures heavily in the storyline, and email is just about my favorite method of communication. Tom Hanks, as Joe Fox, exemplifies love. When he finds out that the woman he's been writing and emailing is the woman who's been campaigning against his new book chain that is going to open up around the corner, he waits. Instead of dashing her hopes and removing the comfort and joy she's found in this online friendship, he woos her. He waits until she comes to like and appreciate Joe Fox before revealing himself as NY159. He treats her with respect and kindness, and guides the relationship with his own hand. What's not to like?
Actually, there is something that has always bothered me about the movie (and many other romantic comedies): both Joe Fox (Hanks) and Kathleen Kelly (Ryan) are involved in serious, committed relationships when they begin their online chatting. This, along with other types of opposite sex friendships, has become so common that the term "emotional affair" is now applied to them. There's no physical breach of a relationship, but there is an intimacy that should be reserved for one's significant other.
I am careful about what I watch--both what's shown on the screen and the worldview behind it--but in watching this movie last night I began to realize that the fact that they were not married freed them to see that those partners were not their ideal and to keep searching until they found the right match. They did each break it off with their partners for the promise of what else might be out there.
I know it's nitpicky--but as married women we have to be careful to guard our hearts and to be content where we are. Think of your favorite romantic movies. In how many of them does this scenario figure prominently? We are kidding ourselves if we think that it doesn't pervade our thoughts, which can lead to a discontented attitude.
I'll never again feel that twinge of first love, or the wonder of getting to know someone from the inside out, but I'm convinced that what I have is much better. I have someone who already knows me inside and out, who's seen me at my best and at my worst and loves me anyway. I am able to see love that had grown and stretched over more than fifteen years--through two children, new jobs, lost jobs, surgeries, sickness and lots of health.
When I get an email from my husband, I am still excited to see what he has to say. I know it holds the promise of a new adventure, perhaps a bit of the mundane routine, or some sort of surprise.