A few nights ago I watched a film called From Weepies to Chick Flicks and I thought it was very, very, VERY interesting. They showed some clips from films in Golden Age (the 30s and 40s) which were lovely - all those soft lens shots of glamorous movie maidens. Then Delia Ephron, screenwriter and producer, started talking about how hard it was to make a modern romance movie.
"In the past it was easier to be romantic. In Jane Austen movies....if you weren't the right class you couldn't be together; if you lived millions of miles away from each other you couldn't be together; you weren't allowed to say certain things that weren't appropriate. Now there's nothing that's inappropriate to say. So it's so much harder now to create a sense of romance."
Then she goes on to talk about conflict.
"The most important thing in a romance movie is what keeps two people apart. That has to be a good reason."
She cites the movie An Affair to Remember when the heroine (Deborah Kerr) is hit by a car and doesn't end up meeting the hero (Cary Grant) on top of the Empire State Building and adds that now...
"He'd probably have her email; he'd just like Google her or something. That's not very romantic."
And she's right. Communication certainly has brought people closer - too close in some cases. Now instead of penning swoon-worthy romantic letters detailing the length and breadth of their love, people just tweet or text each other (or worse still - use those little emoticons) instead of real words. Don't get me wrong, I use :) and 8( or ;P all the time to express the facial expressions I would normally make if I were talking face to face with someone but I'd throw a fit worthy of an award if a beau of mine only ever sent me smileys!
So what, in today's day and age, where so very little is taboo (eg class, race, gender, age etc) keeps two people apart?