Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What's there to love?

The other day I was having a conversation with my friend about Tangled. Now please don't take this the wrong way, because I love Tangled. But I said the reason why I enjoyed other Disney movies more was because I couldn't comprehend why Flynn and Rapunzel fell for each other. I mean, Flynn seems pretty unimpressed with Rapunzel and even she's not swept off her feet right away by him. I know they have that conversation after the big chase with the near-drowning, but it still didn't stick with me why they would fall in love because of that. I found no basis to their love. Of course, maybe now I'm just an older English major with way too much time to analyze movies meant for children fifteen years younger than me.

But this leads me to ask, what's there to love?

I think, when it comes to attraction of couples and making them realistically fall in love, these basic points are crucial:
  • Humor. I haven't met one person who hasn't said they want to marry someone who can make them laugh, or that their significant other makes them laugh. Even in an angsty romance, there has to be some light times when they can just laugh, otherwise they'll end up miserable together in the end.
  • Similarity. As much as they say "opposites attract" you don't get a devout Fundamentalist Christian and a hard-core Wiccan dating. There has to be some sort of common ground or trait in order for the couple to really have a basis for their relationship. It doesn't have to be huge, just something.
  • Opposites. Because contrary to the point above, opposites do attract. I just have to look at my parents for that kind of confirmation. I think that the opposite part is more that they complete one another, as cheesy as that sounds. But if one lacks a trait, with the other person filling it, they make more compatible together in the long run.
  • Standing out. They need to do something that makes the other notice them. My roommate's boyfriend actually shared with her a list of things that made her stand out from other girls, and they were little things, but they were enough for him.
What do you think? What points are important to developing a great literary couple?


  1. I felt that way about Thor. I liked the movie but did not get the love connection between him and Natalie Portman. I won't say more incase you haven't seen it... It's funny how I see movies now that I'm a writer. :) Glad I found your blog! (I hopped over from Kimberly Krey's)

  2. Great post! I haven't seen Tangled (I need to!), but I agree about Thor. Sometimes couples just don't have "it."

    I think the most important thing is for couples to inspire great emotions in each other--whatever those emotions might be. Couples who start out indifferent to each other usually end up being "blah" in the long run. But couples who start out hating each other, etc. usually end up being my favorites. Something in the other one stirs them up from the very beginning :)

  3. Jenna, yes! This is something that bugs the heck out of me in books, sometimes. My number 1 example right now is Delirium. Pretty good book, but what's so great about Lena, again? Why does Alex like her so much?

    I do have to stand up for Tangled, though. I felt the connection between Rapunzel and Flynn a lot more than, say, Snow White/Sleeping Beauty/Cinderella and the princes they only met once (if that) before falling madly in love. :)

  4. @Katie I haven't seen Thor, but I can see where that could not work out. In movies you have the extra element of needing actor chemistry.

    @Hayley That's so true! Strong emotions make the best couples, no matter what logic you try and throw into their chemistry.

    @Julie I haven't read Delirium since I haven't heard *amazing* things about it, but I know the feeling of wondering why one character is even attracted to the other. :P And of course I still love Tangled, and the older princesses definitely didn't have nearly the development as they do in later movies like Tangled. I guess I've just been so impressed with their stuff like Princess and the Frog and Beauty and the Beast that Flynn and Rapunzel fell a bit flat for me.

  5. Good points! Humor is so important, and it seems like a lot of books especially leave this out. Wonder why that is...

  6. I haven't seen Tangled but now I know what I'm going to look for. I think you're right about what's needed to make a relationship work. They have to be different (both can't talk a lot or too little) but they also have to be similar (one can't like traveling and the other hate it). Great post.

  7. First off, WOW to this: My roommate's boyfriend actually shared with her a list of things that made her stand out from other girls.

    Does he have a brother? KIDDING. I'm happily married. That's just such an incredibly romantic thing to do.

    I loved Tangled. Never really analyzed the romance. Just enjoyed the story as a whole. But you make some really good points that should all be considered when we match up our h/h in our books. Nothing annoys me more than a h/h falling head over heels in LUST w/each other by page ten. Give me substance, PLEASE. :)

  8. Tension is essential to me in good romance. A spark or something that draws them together. Yes, I liked the feminism of Tangled, but I actually felt more for her parents (I guess thats how I see Disney movies now).