Thursday, January 5, 2012

Not Getting the Message

When I was in my 30's, I dated a man whose young wife had died of cancer just a year before I met him.  He was initially attracted to me because I superficially resembled "Rachel," and as time went on he started to pressure me to be more and more like her in other ways.  At one point I lost my temper and told him that I couldn't be Rachel for him.  He agreed, and after that he stopped trying to make me into her clone, but eventually we both admitted that he wasn't ready to move on - or at least not with me.

Fast forward to tonight, when I finally got around to watching the movie version of Message in a Bottle.  If you, too, missed it in the theaters, this is the story of Theresa (Robin Wright), a woman who finds a bottle on the beach that contains a love letter to "Catherine," the writer's lost love.  Theresa is captivated by the writer's eloquence and the depth of his feelings for Catherine, and tracks him down.

This is the point at which, had I been one of Theresa's friends, I would have started screaming, "Don't do it, sweetie!!  There's nothing here for you!!"  And, indeed, that's what much of the rest of the movie is about.

The book on which the movie was based was a best-seller, so a lot of people (presumably mostly women) bought into the romance of the "tragic lost love" plot; four members of the cast (including Wright, Kevin Costner as the sorrowing husband, and Paul Newman as his father) were nominated for Blockbuster Entertainment acting awards; and the sets and cinematography were beautiful.  But...

Take it from someone who's been there, with a man this hung up on his dearly departed, the ending just wasn't very likely.

"The hottest love has the coldest end." ~Socrates

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