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 café 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?