Monday, May 2, 2011

BEAUTY & THE BEAST

I was waylaid this weekend with an awful cold so I wasn’t able to get out to the movies. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t able to take in a great romance and an even greater thriller. Of course, I’m talking about the eventful weekend on television what with the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and then the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden. Whew, what a show!

The love story of Prince William and Kate Middleton is not a fairytale made up in Tinsel Town but something mature and real. Theirs is a relationship not founded on silly happenstance like J-Lo meeting the man of her dreams immediately after getting artificially inseminated like in THE BACK-UP PLAN (2010). Nor was their story stretching credulity like the contrived plotting of THE PROPOSAL (2009) where secretary Ryan Reynolds agrees to marry his boss Sandra Bullock so she won’t be deported. Instead the story of Wills and Kate is based on something much more modern and far more advanced in storytelling than any romance of the last decade.
The new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge first met at school, over a decade ago, where they became good friends. Then their friendship turned into something more, a romance, and it led to them moving in together. And after living with each other for a number of years they decided that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together as well. This grounded couple did not rush into marriage after a brief courtship like is so often the case in the storybook romances out of Hollywood, or for that matter in the ridiculously short courtship of William’s parents - only five months. No, their realization took 8 years. And because of that I think they truly know each other and what they want. And I give them very good odds for making their marriage last. 
The beautiful Kate Middleton strikes me as a heroine for the modern age as well. First of all she is a “commoner” as the Brits like to call her, as she is not of royal lineage, and that makes her instantly more likable doesn’t it? Secondly, she has a job and is very much her own woman. Finally, she’s handled everything with aplomb thus far, from the decades-long relationship ups and downs, to the dignified engagement, to all the festivities of the wedding day. She’s wise beyond her years, level-headed and composed, not some silly girl. We haven’t had this grounded a woman in royalty since Grace Kelly chucked all of Hollywood to marry Prince Rainier at the height of her career. She rose to that new job with dare I say, unequaled grace, and I know Kate will too. Watching her move with such confidence through every stage of the wedding day on Friday should give everyone great hope for the monarchy and for true adult love. No storybook romantic bullshit here my friends. This is the real thing. And what a welcome and refreshing romance that is.

It was certainly a big enough news weekend just with that but then on Sunday evening at approximately 9:35PM central standard time, we were treated to a thriller unlike any we’d seen in quite some time. I was watching TV when a crawl came across the screen telling all of its viewers that the President of the United States was going to tell us some critical news in the coming moments. At first I feared the worst. Were we under attack? Had someone died in the administration or in the Obama family? The tension rose for over half an hour before anyone had any idea what the breaking news was. Then around 10:15 pm it was announced that the President would be talking to the nation to tell us that Osama Bin Laden had been found and killed. The nightmare that started on September 11, 2001 would now reach some form of closure. The evil terrorist behind those attacks, the beastly public enemy # 1, was finally dead. 
And sure enough the President walked up to the lectern and looked into the camera with a determined, steely gaze and told us the news of how a stealth team of Navy SEALS had snuck into Bin Laden’s secret compound in Pakistan and taken him out. It sounded liked something that Hollywood would create - a top-notch thriller, probably with Matt Damon or Bruce Willis in the lead. But instead it was a real story starring a cool and tough commander-in-chief, a crack staff and expert military personnel who were able to keep the covert operation secret from everyone. And they kept the plan hidden for well over six months. Amazing. (And I can’t help but smile at the fact that the President’s news ended up preempting the conclusion of an episode of Donald Trump’s reality show. You want to see a man fire someone, Trump? Watch the Prez take out Bin Laden, you poseur!) 
As more of the story’s details become known it seems even more incredible. And you just know that soon there will be an HBO mini-series made out of it or some 100 million dollar extravaganza for the IMAX screens. Apparently Kathryn Bigelow, the Oscar winning director of THE HURT LOCKER (2010), already had a Bin Laden movie in the works. But the reality of this story is more exciting than anything that Hollywood will possibly bring to life.

It has been said that God writes lousy theater. But this weekend the deity wrote one helluva great script. It was a romance to beat all romances and a crackling nail-biter that had all of us on the edge of our seats. And if you don’t think that he has a sequel in mind, then consider the ingénue possibilities of Kate’s delightful younger sister and maid of honor. Come, come now...can THE ROYAL MARRIAGE 2: THE RETURN OF PIPPA be far behind? 

4 comments:

  1. Thanks, Karen! So glad you like what I'm doing here.

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  2. That weekend was certainly a period of competing secrets. One we knew about (the big reveal of Kate’s wedding dress) and one we didn’t (the terrorist most responsible for 9/11 would finally meet his due). Each event, meticulously planned for long periods of time, was played out flawlessly. What both events also have in common are hope and optimism of better things to come in the future.

    They always say the sequel is never as good as the original. How can you top a wedding, seen by one third of the planet, that also managed to be a romantic and intimate affair just for the two of them? And as for a sequel to the other event, there are no guarantees of course, but like CITIZEN KANE, I hope to never see one.

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  3. Fan, nicely said. And I love the way you compared the secrets contained in both big news stories! Thanks for your thoughts. They are always so welcome and your contributions to this blog are invaluable. Thanks!

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