I was watching a movie over the weekend that I’d never seen before—Love is a Many Splendored Thing—and one of the lines is about the precious stone jade, and how the Chinese people feel when you wear jade, part of their souls/personalities attach to it. When you gift someone a piece of jade you’ve worn, it’s like giving them a part of you.
A beautiful concept, and I of course couldn’t help but wonder at my choice of names for the thrillercat—Jade—and how she forever marked me.
I love thinking about how we touch those around us, how we live on in memory. How a smell or a sound can evoke a fully corporeal person—or former pet—to us. Love always ends tragically, right?
For all its many faults, the plot of the movie was fascinating to me. Set in the 1950s, it’s the story of an “Eurasian” female doctor who falls in love with a married but separated American war correspondent. Their romance is illicit, and she is shunned by her family, looked down upon by her boss's meddlesome wife and the other doctors she works with, loses her job, the works.
Have we changed so much since then? In many ways, yes. In many ways, no. There are always going to be people who disapprove of non-homogenous choices.
But I have a question: when did the tragic endings of romances move into the need for a happily ever after? It makes sense that the movies made during the war eras explored the tragic loss of true love. But nowadays, the happily ever after—HEA—seems to be a must for a romance novel or movie. To the point that we've lost the concept of loss.
Maybe that’s why the wonderful film La-La-Land was such a success. The tragic nature allows us to mourn our own lost loves. Better to have loved and lost...
Opinions please, because I’m genuinely curious—are you cool with the tragic ending, or is HEA your thing?
Oh, good writing day today, too— cruising right along with 1800....