Set during World War II, Casablanca focuses on a man torn between, in the words of one character, “love and virtue” – Rick’s choice being his love for Ilsa or aiding her and husband Victor to escape and continue their fight against the Nazis.
As love stories go, Casablanca is one of the most famous, but yet does not have the romance-novel-required happy ending. At least, not between lovers Rick and Ilsa. Instead, we’re given a story where love is sacrificed for the greater good, the characters having to settle for their memories.
These days, the heroine leaving the husband she doesn’t truly love isn’t so much the problem it was when Casablanca was first released. Certainly in romantic fiction the hero and heroine have to be together. But is gaining a happy ending worth losing the pathos of the story? Personally I think not. Ilsa made a vow to Victor, one that Rick knew she’d regret breaking if she stayed with him.
Having said that, if I were to write a story inspired by Casablanca, my ending would certainly be different. 😉
Misa Buckley is a sci fi geek who escapes the crazy of raising five children by creating imaginary characters who experience adventure, romance and really hot sex on their way to a happily-ever-after. You can keep up to date with Misa’s latest news by following her on Twitter or at her website.
Even though I love movies, I have not seen a single film nominated for the Oscars. Not one. No time. ~Lesigh~ The only movies I manage to sneak in are with my kid as a family activity and half of those, I pay for on demand, months after they’ve been in the movie theater. No complaints really. My life is full. So I’ll talk about my all-time favorite Oscar films with a focus on love.
While there are truly many great Oscar-winning films (list here), if I only had two of them, my film library would be complete. The first is quite simply one of best films about love ever made—Casablanca (3 Oscars including best picture in 1943). No HEA here. In the world of Casablanca, where the world hangs in a balance with World War II in full blaze, we see and feel the sacrifices that people, flawed and beaten up, are willing to make for love. It’s love at its most unselfish and its most painful. Sometimes the price of love is the ability to say good bye, to let go for a greater good. Or because it is what’s best for the one you love.
Because life is not always such a downer, my other favorite must-have Oscar winner is Lord of the Rings: Return of the King which ran away with 11 Oscars including best picture in 2003. Actually I love and own all three of the trilogy, but this one took best picture so I’m going with it.
While LOTR has an HEA—the world is saved, Aragorn and Arwen get their happy ending, Eowyn finds love in Faramir, and Sam discovers the courage to win his Rosie—the real love this story celebrates is friendship. The relationship between Sam and Frodo grounds the movie and enables all the others to get to their happy ending. Sam, who never wanted to be a hero or leave the Shire, stays with Frodo to the bitter end. Even if Frodo cannot himself throw the ring, Sam’s dogged loyalty and reliability got him all the way to that precipice in Mt. Doom and home again. Love should always bring you home.
So how have award winning movies captured love at its best? Which of them are must owns and why?