Double feature: Here are two films proving that love is as much a source of self-deception as of knowledge, something struggled against as much as sought after.
The delicately-boned, extravagantly-tressed heroines of “Moonstruck” and “A Room with a View” both try to give real love the slip, in favor of something less anxiety-inducing. Both must contend with sturdily built, floppy-haired pursuers who are testing the relationship between their actions and fate’s influence.
In both films, the intensity of the pursuers’ passion grants them privileged insight into the characters of their respective beloveds. They see, and articulate, what others don’t, and what the heroines themselves won’t own up to.
Both films present cultural exposure as a gateway to romantic receptivity, with Italy and opera as shortcuts to emotional epiphanies. Both make a strong case that the sweet routine of an affectionate domestic environment provides the soundest basis for judgment, and the strongest foundation from which to face love head-on.
For a marathon: After “A Room with a View,” check out “Barcelona” for more well-spoken but muddled Anglos abroad.
For more elderly Italians as delightful (and emotionally labile) as the grandfather in “Moonstruck,” check out “Mid-August Lunch.”
(Creative Commons licensed original images courtesy of “☃” and “MacGeekGrl” at Flickr)