I Saw Mommy Kissing James Bond

Last week was the anniversary of the beginning my romance writing career, and so I treated myself to a little decadent pleasure. I downloaded Skyfall by Adele, the theme song from the latest James Bond movie, from ITunes. Actually, I have to admit that it was more than a treat--I HAD to have it because I couldn't get the crazy song out of my head.

I know this has happened to you at some point in your life. You get a song stuck in your head and can't get it out and it drives you a little bonkers until it finally goes away. Usually, it's a jingle that gets caught in my mental machinery, but that wasn't the case this time. Mainly what annoyed me was not the song--I do really like it--but I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get it off my mind. What is it about this song that won't let me let it go?

As a matter of fact, what is it about the movie, Skyfall, that sort of haunts me? It's a James Bond movie, for Pete's sake, an action adventure where the super sexy secret agent is supposed to save the world, get the girl, and do it with witty aplomb that makes Cary Grant look like a fumbling school boy. It wasn't Pan's Labyrinth or Atonement or some other very literary piece of cinema...or was it?

Yeah, I just wrote that. It just might be possible that Skyfall, the latest in the Bond franchise meant to entertain and delight not through story but through babes and bullets, possesses a literary element that is oddly, refreshingly captivating. I've had to think about this. I love the Bond movies but until this one I never saw the symbolism or even the metaphor (watch the movie and then think about the words in the theme and you'll see what I mean). What in the world is going on with me that this movie enthralled me so? That the relationships between Bond and the other characters seemed so meaningful?

I think I found the answer in my past. I grew up the child of a single mother, and being a single mother back then was, just as it is now, terribly difficult. Being single in general wasn't easy, but being a divorcee with a child held its own brand of misery because of gender stereotypes. A doctor once told my mother she wasn't physically sick (she was), she was just depressed because she was single with a child to raise. Men often thought divorcees were easy marks because they had been married before and were desperate to marry again to have someone provide for them and therefore would be more likely to do anything to keep a man. My mother faced this as gracefully as she could, but sometimes she needed an escape, and that escape was the movies, particularly the Bond movies.

We'd go see them together, of course, bonding over Bond, and I think she liked him not because he was single, sexy, and suave, but because he represented what so many single women like my mother wanted in a man--someone who could and would protect them and make them feel like a beautiful woman without being a complete jerk. Plus, there were all those foreign locations and it seemed so metropolitan and exciting. Needless to say, when I think of Bond, I think of my mother. I remember how we faced the world together, just us two, back then, and taking a stand is sort of theme in the movie. A lyric from Adele's song says it all:

"Put your hand in my hand and we'll stand..." 

Besides that, there is a distinctly maternal vibe coursing through the movie as well. I will say no more because I don't want to spoil it, so I recommend you see it for yourself if you're into spy movies. Maybe it's just me because the Bond movies were a part of my growing up years, but perhaps there is something deeper there, something with as much intrigue as the spy life itself. Hmm...

So do you have a movie that you can't stop thinking about? A song that won't leave you alone? Please do share!

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