Sunday, June 23, 2024




by Jaizer Jim R. Nadal

It’s nearing Valentine’s Day and there’s a flutter of arrows a p p r o a c h i n g . Already you can hear the boys and girls texting their hearts away. ‘Tis the season to be lovely, I suppose. Everyone wishes for a romance that’s as naive and everlasting as those in the movies. But if one wants to attain this, he has to learn the tricks of the trade. Here are a few things you learn about love from the movies.

Firstly, you are the protagonist. This is your movie and the story, be it jubilant or d e v a st a t i n g, happens to you. You’ve got to have a face that’s both fetching yet quirky. This will establish you as a character who is much like the everyday man yet somehow potentially handsome.

A good example of this would be Joseph-Gordon Levitt. This is a guy who almost looks geeky and yet is a borderline hunk. So if someone hollers at you that you look like Robin from “The Dark Knight Rises”, then you’re on your way to a Hollywood happy ending. Also, you have to acquire a distinct trait. This could be as simple as learning how to play an instrument or being a writer. This is to give your ch a r a ct e r dimension and appeal.

Secondly, o n c e you have developed y o u r cha racter, you must now find y o u r l e a d i n g lady. Don’t worry, she’s a pretty girl. This is a major m o t i o n p i c t u r e , after all, a Viva Films production even. They w o u l d n ’ t settle for a woman other than Kim Chiu or Anne Curtis. You meet in a b o ok s tore somewhere or a coffee shop. The first thing you notice is her beauty, of course. You look her way every once in a while, hints of eye-contact littered everywhere. And then she does something that you find utterly astonishing. She listens to your favourite band or reads a book by your favourite author. This is when the need to talk to this girl overcomes you. But you don’t.

The fundamental laws of film dictate that you have to wait for another chance encounter with the girl before you can strike a conversation. I don’t know why, but this is the way of things. You meet again in an elevator or at a queue for the ATM. You ask her about that band or that book you both like and that’s when you are convinced that there’s something here. Something eternal, probably not; but something real, maybe. You exchange numbers and start seeing each other more often. This is where it gets quite interesting.

Thirdly, you take her to your favourite places; that perfect shade in the park or a rooftop that only you know. There’s chemistry between you two and it’s undeniable. You talk of old videogames and movies and such, and how it must’ve been fate that placed that strange gravity between you two. And in all these rendezvous and stolen kisses, you get this one instant when everything falls into place. You find a place near the shore or under the stars and her hand fits perfectly with yours. You look into her eyes and you say those three words you’ve heard Jack say to Rose, replete with all the passion of a star-eyed romantic. “I love you.” You kiss, fireworks explode in the distance, grand music begins to play, the works.

For a while, your romance runs smoothly. But with any good film is a second act. There will come a time when your lovely leading lady finds that tiny part of you which she finds appalling. Either that or she’s about to die. Like that scene in “A Walk to Remember” where Mandy Moore confesses to that guy that she has cancer. But God forbid that something like that happens to anyone. It is this slight misunderstanding that creates that rift between you two. Subsequently, you spend days on-end wallowing in grief. But it is in this, the most depressing scene in the film so far, where you find second wind.

This last part is the most crucial to any love story. This is where you, the protagonist, prove your worth. In your soul-searching you realize what this romance was all about, why you love her and not your hot classmate. At which point you make a grand gesture, proclaiming your undying love for her. This could be as simple as racing to the airport to stop her from leaving or building a house, ala “The Notebook”. In turn, she reassures you that the thought of leaving you was beyond unbearable. And then you kiss, again and again until the world fades away and the credits roll.

Thus concludes our guide to a Hollywood romance. Now go out there and fall in love, and may your story be more lovelorn than anything Nicholas Sparks has ever written.



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