Jamie and Aurelia: Love At First Sight?
This one twangs my heartstrings…I love a good old fashioned romance. But let’s examine this a minute…these two meet and “fall in love” while never being able to understand a word the other is saying. Is this realistic? While I admit, she could probably get a good feel for what he’s like by watching him write and live in his house there…how did he really get to know her? He only saw her at work, cleaning his house, and didn’t really know anything about her. From his end, at least, I’d guess his interest in her was based almost entirely on surface appearances…note the wonderful slow-mo sequence of her taking off her clothes to jump in the lake. While that was a funny scene, doesn’t it really say quite a bit about what Jaime’s really interested in?
And while I like him learning Portuguese to come back and look her up and get involved with her…proposing marriage? Isn’t that a little quick, considering these are about the first words he’s ever said to her that she can understand? And she accepts! She’s never even been on a date with this guy, never really been with him in a situation where he wasn’t her boss…and she says yes? I like a good romance as much as the next guy, but the proposal scene was kind of weird. I’d have prefer it if he just asked her out, for pete’s sake.
In general, I still like the story, because I think it’s kind of sweet watching these two try to feel each other out without a common language, and both thinking they’re having the unrequited pining going on. The ending really didn’t do it for me, though.
(oh, and what’s up with his ex-wife? Why did she decide to bail on her tall, relatively handsome husband to screw his brother? Who knows? Is it important? Of course not, this story’s about Jaime! Can we make her any more cardboard?)
Mark and Juliet: Unrequited Love Done Right
Another of my faves…the old “falling in love with your best friend’s girl”. And this one gets a plus from me…not only does the guy NOT screw over his best friend, he tries not to screw over the best friend’s girl! He intentionally keeps his distance, trying not to mess up their relationship. I think that’s awesome. From the way the story plays out, it looks like it backfires a little…he kind of seems cold to them…but note how this is still about their happiness, not his; he looks bad so that he doesn’t interfere. And that scene where she watches his video and realizes he’s really infatuated with her? That’s just so sad and sweet.
Of course, it kind of sucks for Juliet…now she feels guilty about being with Peter, and bad for Mark who’s intentionally staying away. But don’t you think maybe she appreciates that? That even though he loves her (thinks he loves her, actually…I don’t know if he knows her well enough to really love her), he’s not going to come between her and the man SHE loves? Isn’t he making it all about her, and what she wants? Like he did with the wedding…he could have been the anguished, pining hero, focusing on how much it sucks that the girl he likes is marrying his best friend. Instead, he did everything he could to make it special for her (and Peter, I guess). I think that’s kinda cool. Way to cowboy up, Mark, and realize it’s not all about you.