We were having a discussion on the Red Sage Readers loop about how a romance makes any story a better story, and how sometimes a story doesn't feel complete or satisfactory without a romance. This led me to think about some of my favorite movies that aren't billed as "romances," and yet the romance or love story is integral to the plot and the characters' actions.
One my favorite recent movies is Apocalypto. Yes, the story is violent, bloody, and gory, but at its core, it's a love story. The hero, Jaguar Paw, has a strong will to survive after his Amazon village is ransacked and destroyed and he is taken captive by the Mayan city-dwellers. During the attack on his village, Jaguar Paw is able to hide his pregnant wife and his son down a well. He knows he must come back to them to rescue them, and it's this love for his family that drives him to amazing feats of valor and cunning as he escapes the Mayans and makes his way back to his wife and son. His wife is no slouch in the bravery department either as she protects her son in the well. It's an amazing and gripping story of the will to survive and how love inspires this will.
Another favorite of mine, Braveheart, just happens to be by the same director, Mel Gibson. Again, he gives us a bloody, violent movie, but at the heart of it all is a great romance. Wallace wanted to keep a low profile when he returned to Scotland, but after the English murdered his wife, he had to avenge her death. The ending was incredible when Wallace is being tortured and he's able to tune it all out and focus on his dead wife moving through the crowd. When the King of England's daughter-in-law is discussion Wallace with her lady-in-waiting, the lady says, "I heard he did it all for his woman." Ahhh, romance.
So do you all think I'm nuts labeling these violent action movies "romance"? How about it? Where have you found an unlikely romance?