Why do so many people, myself included and maybe especially women, find Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant’s An Affair to Remember (1957) to be such a “classic” and satisfying love story? Apart from the dated elements from 50’s movies depicting men and women being almost different species (!), nevertheless the story still works for many of us today, as evidenced by the annual Christmastime reprisals and several attempted remakes which, however, never quite get the fabric or tonality of this story quite as well as Kerr and Grant did.
Terry McKay/ D. Kerr: “I was looking up; it was the nearest thing to heaven. You were there!”
Nickie Ferrante/ C. Grant: Why didn’t you tell me? If it had to happen to one of us, why did it have to be you?
Terry McKay/ D. Kerr: If you can paint, I can walk… Anything can happen, don’t you think?
I believe the reason this story speaks so deeply to all of us admirers is simple: this is a classic version of a Better Endings love story. The star-crossed lovers are each otherwise engaged to be married in relationships in which they would be ‘”settling,” but kismet brings them together so they can realize true love; a love which supports and strengthens each of their deepest life ambitions.
Sleepless in Seattle is the best contemporary version of the same underlying Better Endings love story theme as An Affair to Remember. Of course it is a parable with many allusions that refer directly back to the original throughout. It culminates with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks meeting on top of the Empire State Building, so bringing to fruition a better-ending retelling of An Affair to Remember wherein McKay and Ferrante do meet up there as promised. And Sleepless in Seattle (along with You’ve Got Mail, which clearly is in the same genre of Better-Endings love tales) has the same classic longevity as An Affair to Remember, showing the universality of this theme; the archetypal character of this story.
images are from pixabay.com
Click below for your enjoyment:
Better Endings News!
For regular or occasional readers of this blog: I’m happy to report that a Better Ending story appears to be brewing for my self-discovery/ personal development book, Your Life Path. My Super Agent (called as such in a recent article about her ), Linda Langton of Langtons International Agency, has received an offer from a publisher, and we are approaching a contract! This has been a labor of love for over 15 years in the making, with plenty of final polishing still in process but Whew! Thanks all for reading the blog and I will keep you posted. I’ll put up a widget to announce the book when that is appropriate. My blessings to all of you and Better Endings to your Life Dreams, too!
Love this movie and the clip you posted. One of the best. Love how you connect it to your work. And…congratulations on the contract!! Well done to you. Blessings!
Thank You, MarDrag. The next big challenge is promoting the book so it can reach a level that it goes mainstream. Every step has been a creative gift.