Monday, October 18, 2010

What is romantic?

My writing has been moving forward in fits and starts, sometimes in a linear fashion, sometimes doing some time travel back and forth between scenes.  I got to a place the other day where my hero pulled out his sensitive side, and I totally stalled out. Just froze.  How am I going to write this without sounding all gooey?

I decided it was time for some research (or maybe just a movie break), and went to Blockbuster.  My hero is a soldier and I've decided he should have PTSD.  Apolcalypse Now wasn't in (and really...there wasn't a whole of sensitive stuff in there) and they didn't have An Officer and a Gentleman (which might lean too far towards sensitive and away from tough guy).  I wound up with Full Metal Jacket  and The Messenger.  Okay, I know, I know, Stanley Kubrick movies are probably not the best source of romantic scenes, but I bet there is a wealth of insight into PTSD-inducing activity in there.  I haven't seen FMJ in many years, I plan on getting to it tomorrow night when I have a kid at home who can help me work the Blu-Ray DVD player. 

I have to tell you, though, that The Messenger was awesome.  It's about this guy (Will Montgomery, played by Ben Foster) who is injured in Iraq and has to spend the last three months of his enlistment doing the casualty notification thing with Woody Harrelson.  Will has to decide what he's going to do with his life after this.  He's already all twisted up because his high school sweetheart has moved on, and then he gets a little obsessed with a widow he has had to notify.  There is no nooky between Will and Olivia.  Not even a lip lock. But there is this scene where they are in her kitchen, and they are getting ready to "go there" but she's just not ready.  They are kind of slow dancing without music and their faces just keep getting almost there, almost to the spit swapping vicinity, and then, Oh!  She backs off.  And then, almost, almost, come on...NO!   Gawd, what a great scene!  Needless to say, it worked for me.

And can I also just say that Woody Harrelson totally rocked as the crusty alcoholic senior officer, also struggling with a demon or two.  He was channeling his inner Duvall.  I'm a bit of a Woody fan from way back because I sat one table over from him in a bar in like...1990.  He got up and sang Hound Dog with the band. We are tight, me and Woody.  Practically related.

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