I've got to get geared up for a convention this weekend, and then there's that Valentine's thing. I actually don't care about Valentine's Day one way or another, and that's not just me being bitter and single. It just seems odd to have a random day designated for romance, whether or not that day is meaningful to you. Each couple should have their own day that means something to them and their relationship, not something dictated by a bunch of corporate marketing departments. Really, when you think about it, Valentine's Day is like the least romantic thing ever because it's romance on demand, without meaning. It's obligation rather than sincere sentiment.
But it is a handy time to discuss what is and isn't romantic and to make lists, and such. Earlier this week on NCIS, one character was facing her first Valentine's Day after a divorce and said she wanted to just stay home and watch a movie that night. One of her co-workers gave her a Valentine's Day gift: the DVD of Aliens for a movie to watch that night. That cracked me up because of a discussion here a few years ago, in which I declared my view that Aliens is actually a very romantic movie. Seriously, that scene where Hicks teaches Ripley how to use the gun is totally swoonworthy (and there are no other movies -- Hicks and Ripley got married and adopted Newt and lived happily ever after, with the occasional alien incursion to battle because they need a bit of excitement in their lives, so there).
For more recent movies, I guess Stardust would be high on my list where I actually like the relationship and feel like I could imagine the couple really working on a long-term basis. And, yikes, even that isn't truly recent. I liked the way the relationship was developed in the recent version of Cinderella, and Far from the Madding Crowd was a nice one. Mostly, though, romance in movies has been pretty awful lately.
On TV, my current favorite relationship is Emma and Hook on Once Upon a Time. That show is such a hot mess in so many ways, but this is the one thing they seem to be getting mostly right. Yeah, they started as enemies, so there was some bickering, but then he quickly realized that his life had gone down a bad path if someone as awesome as she is thought he was a jerk, and he made a sincere attempt to change. He's gone through goodness knows how many portals to other worlds on her behalf. Once thing I like is that it's been mostly a slow build (well, from our perspective. In the show timeline, it's been months, even though it's taken years for us). They went from enemies to allies to friends, to closer friends with a bit of flirtation, to actually being romantically involved while still being friends. It wasn't one of those TV "I hate you/kiss/bed" relationships. Now that they're together, it isn't always smooth sailing (there's the minor issue right now that he's dead, but she's planning to do something about that), but most of the conflicts they're dealing with are external, and they're facing them together. It's proof that the Moonlighting curse doesn't have to apply if you do it well. You can get together a couple without it sapping all energy from the show.
For music, I have to share this:
Sigh. This is from the Broadway show The Scarlet Pimpernel, as performed by the divine Terrence Mann. I suppose it's not entirely a happy song, as it's about a relationship that has ended, and it is sung by the villain, but remove it from context and it sounds like someone who believes in what the other person can be and hopes for her to be able to live up to that potential. I have this as the alarm for my cell phone alarm clock. If you have to wake up, you may as well wake up to something like this. Also, it starts softly and builds, so it's not jarring, and I want to listen to it, so I don't hit snooze.