Recently, two movies which I produced years ago, came back to me in different ways, both converging on one pointed question. Do we have a destined soul mate? A life partner. A wife. A husband. A lover. Whatever label we want to use. Someone we are fated to share our lives with. Of course these two movies have structures dramatically showing the bittersweet journey. At the end, the two lovers find each other. And it is that much sweeter if the journey was long and winding with compounding obstacles.
Someone I met this week, probably in his twenties, said to me with a fierce conviction bordering on a religious faith, “You know the days when you think no one is out there for you? There always is. And they are looking for you.” It is one of the most reassuring things to say to anyone who feels the need to be loved, or more loved. A premise perfect for a movie, a romantic comedy. But I have also met people who resolutely believe they will never find someone. They have reached a point in their lives when they cannot see fitting someone else into a fixed lifestyle.
Romantic comedies are positive by definition. Even those which turn this genre on its head. ’500 Days Of Summer’ and ’50/50′. Like love songs, they are the movie equivalent of comfort food. They tell a compelling love story but keep the mood breezy and the collective feeling hopeful and of course, sweet. The most successful romantic comedies, ‘Sleepless In Seattle’, ‘Pretty Woman’ and ‘Comrade Almost A Love Story’ are light, wishful and incredibly romantic. The thing is, how real can some of these stories be? Or just some parts of the stories. If we are tirelessly positive, can we see the real thing at the end? How long must we wait for ‘the end’? Does it come when we are old and withered?
On the 29th of February, I was reminded of the movie I produced, ‘Leap Of Love’. Other than the premise of a leap year Irish tradition, it is about a girl who believes her other half is out there looking for her as desperately as she is looking for him. There is a chance encounter with this other half, but it will take them almost a lifetime to find each other. The other movie, based on the best-selling illustration book by Jimmy Liao, is about a pair of lovers destined to go through a series of close misses before getting together. It is called ‘Turn Left, Turn Right’. They live next to each other but their paths never cross. Metaphorically one always turns left, and the other, always turns right.
It may boil down to an outlook of life. If you are an eternal optimist or pessimist. If you believe, it will happen. If you don’t, you will sabotage any possibility. But because finding love can be sacred to many people, this journey of looking for love is mystified and wrapped in layers and layers of beliefs, disbeliefs, hopefulness, hopelessness, tales of sweet serendipity and ill-fated tragedies. And there is this other adage. ‘Sometimes what you want isn’t always what you get, but in the end what you get is so much better than what you wanted.’ This is another form of positive thinking.
I have not been lucky with finding love. But somehow I have remained hopeful. Which may be bad news if what this friend of mine said is true. That true love will finally show up only when you have truly given up on it ever showing up. Being hopeful is just a part of who I am. Wishful thinking is not day-dreaming if you do something about it. But for love, what can one do? I am new to this not-so-new phenomenon called social media. Anyway I think it is for people much younger. As my work takes up most of my waking hours and my mental faculties, I will have to rely on this other motto of yet another friend. ‘When you have tried your best, stop trying and let the best happen to you.’ I will let you know when it happens.