07-14-18 Cassandra O’Leary

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friends To Lovers & Lovers To Friends

 What role does friendship play in romance?

I believe men and women can be friends without any romantic/sexual component to the relationship. Instant like. Best buds. Laughs and interests shared.

I also know one can be enthralled by a member of the opposite sex—even if that person hasn’t a chance in Hades of becoming a friend. Instant lust. Been there, too, (in the distant past, of course).

However, I’m also convinced friendship is the foundation for a lasting romance. Men and women must be BOTH friends and lovers to survive life’s bumpy road as couples. Been there, too. Happily married 36 years and counting.

 My belief that friendship is a mainstay of the happy ever after (HEA) is why I give an enthusiastic thumbs-up to three romantic comedies: When Harry Met Sally (WHMS), You’ve Got Mail, and The Holiday.

Among my all-time favorites, these films have plenty in common. For starters, the writing and dialogue are top-notch. (Authors notice these things.) Nora Ephron, a genius screenwriter, crafted both When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail. While actor Billy Crystal is sometimes credited with suggesting the famous WHMS line—“I’ll have what she’s having.”—Nora Ephron had the good sense to grab it and run with it for laughs. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, PLEASE watch this classic. You’ll hoot at the cafĂ© scene where Sally demonstrates how a woman can “fake it.”)

The stars in these movies are no slouches either. Billy Crystal’s co-star in When Harry Met Sally is Meg Ryan, who also stars in You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks. The Holiday is headlined by Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Jack Black

Yet it’s the friendship theme that makes these movies extra special. In You've Got Mail, Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly become email confidants and discover far more about their compatibility as pen pals than they do when they first meet. It’s the friendship that lets the relationship bloom despite the fact that they butt heads over business.

In When Harry met Sally, the leads collide multiple times over the years as they search for love. It’s only after they form a close friendship that they take their relationship to the perilous next step. While sex complicates things for a while, their friendship allows them to navigate the tricky waters.

In The Holiday, Iris (Winslet) and Amanda (Diaz) impetuously exchange houses for the holidays as both women try to get over bad breakups. Then Amanda indulges in a “fantasy” one-night stand with the handsome Graham (Law), but as the couple moves on to friendship, love becomes possible. For Iris, the friendship/love equation works in reverse. She becomes friends with Miles (Black) first and gradually discovers he’s the real man of her dreams.

So, how do you feel about friendship and romantic love? Do you agree you need both for a happy ever after?


Denise Verrico said...

Nice post. Friendship is a must in a marriage. My husband and I have been best friends for 27 years, almost 24 of them as husband and wife. We share many common interests and passions, such as theater, movies, books, roller coasters, history and science. We agree to disagree about my parrots. That's where the friendship is vital, for the disagreements.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Linda,

I'm with you and Denise. They say opposites attract and to some extent that's true. But what makes for a good marriage is a deep and abiding friendship, being married to a person who treats you with respect and whose company you enjoy. That's true for my husband and myself as well. We've also been married for a great many years. I simply enjoy his company and he is my best friend.

Robin Weaver, Author of Blue Ridge Fear said...

Hi Linda,

I agree--friendship is essential to a lasting relationship. Billy Joel should write a song about it...lol

Judith Ashley said...

Absolutely! In the 30+ years I worked in adoption, I looked for the depth of friendship of the couple. Friendship will more easily get you through the rough times we all experience in life.

Judith Ashley said...

And,one more thing - I've actually seen these 3 movies! I was feeling very behind the times reading Genre-ista posts about movies having seen very few or none of them. And, I've seen them more than once!!! Guess I'm not totally hopeless when it comes to romantic movies. lol

Ashantay said...

Linda, you cited one of the top ten favorite movies (Holiday) and yes, the developing friendships between the four (including the women) is what makes me enjoy the movie every time i watch it.

Thanks for the thoughtful post.

Linda Lovely said...

Judith, I'm with you. It's rare that I've seen a movie at the time it's nominated for an Oscar. But when I find a movie I like, I have no problems watching it repeatedly. It seems we all agree on the importance of friendship, and Ashantay is right. Holiday also did a good job of portraying the friendship between the women in the movie.

Sarah Raplee said...

You absolutely need friendship as well as passion for a romance to last; I agree with you, Linda.

As for opposites attracting, that's often true in friendships as well as romance.

Christy Carlyle said...

Great post, Linda! Anyone who mentions The Holiday gets extra points from me. It's one of my favorite films. :)

Friendship is absolutely, bedrock-essential for a lasting relationship. My husband is hands down the person I most want to spend time with. He "gets me" as only a best friend can. And that enriches everything.

Thank you for this post!

Diana Mcc. said...

I have to say "Ditto" to all the above comments!! great post!!