Last night was boy’s night, so when I finished my words for the day, I rewarded myself with Mamma Mia, which I’d been in the mood to watch since our #ROW80 Twitter party on Wednesday when people kept posting clips of Dancing Queen where I couldn’t actually sing and dance in my office. Since no one was actually home to be witness to this potentially egregiously embarrassing display, I cut loose, singing and dancing in the living room for the whole movie.
Now, I feel compelled to point out that I can actually sing. I’m not Kristen Chenilworth, but I have 7 years of choir, including show choir, under my belt (which is part of my love for Glee). I was the chick they kept in show choir because they needed an alto who could project, unmiked, to the back row of the auditorium. I was also the chick they kept on the back row of risers, despite being incredibly short, so that no one could actually SEE that I have no rhythm. So last night I belted out to the movie and danced in all my a-rhythmic glory. And scared my dogs. They abandoned me about halfway through. Traitors.
In any event, I love this movie. It was a surprise to me, actually, as I’m not a huge Abba fan. But I adore this story, and part of why is that I have this incredible soft spot for stories about love gone wrong that gets a second chance. I mean, sure, Sophie is adorable, but it’s Donna and Sam that I keep coming back for (and the Dynamos who are freaking hilarious–I could so play Rosie in another twenty years–can anybody believe that’s Mama Weasley?). That LOOK on Meryl Streep’s face when she finds out that Sam actually came back for her. Ah! I just love. Enough to forgive the fact that Pierce Brosnan really can’t sing.
I LOVE books and movies where the hero and heroine have a history together. It makes for such delicious emotional complication. I’m not sure why I’ve always loved this trope. I guess…I see so many people in relationships that get screwed up for one reason or another, and the optimist/romantic in me really loves the idea that maybe with another chance they can get it right. It’s definitely something I’ve done a lot (and will continue to do) in my own work. Gage and Embry in Forsaken By Shadow. Kensie and Collin in the book that got rewritten 9 times in as many years that is not likely to ever see the light of day–it was my therapy book. I had some demons to exorcise. Eli and Maya in an as yet unnamed but planned Mirus book. Y’all don’t know who they are, but they’re on my mind this morning.
I’ve heard some people say this kind of set up is a cop out to avoid having to show the heroine and hero realistically falling in love because they already ARE they just won’t admit it. And in some cases it’s true. But I think it’s equally challenging, if not sometimes more-so, to show them getting past their pride and prejudices and overcoming whatever pain and misunderstandings led to their original estrangement. I love seeing the contrast of who they were to who they are now.
What’s your favorite story (book or movie) about old loves coming back together? I’m always on the lookout for more.