One of my favorite classic movies is the Deborah Kerr/ Cary Grant version of An Affair to Remember. One of the reasons for the enormous popularity of this story is not just the romantic kismet between the main characters Nickie Ferrante and Terry McKay but also because of what they represent to each other as opportunities to Follow Their Hearts and Realize their Dreams, apart from the normative, mediocre lives/ relationships they have been oriented to before they meet.
They each have ardent vocations: Miss McKay’s as a working class children’s vocal teacher and Nickie’s as a painter. Once they meet Nickie vows to give up his money-seeking, playboy lifestyle to earn a living for his wife from his painting, though he could instead marry into money and continue with a carefree, empty life instead. Terry is willing to risk pursuing true love with Nickie rather than settling for a predictable life where her own career is likely to be sacrificed or to come second to her husband’s.
Both Terry and Nickie’s vocations fulfill their deeply artistic natures. They are following their hearts as well as recognizing kindred Souls in one another. Both have “gone to Sea” on an ocean liner seeking deeper truths than their engagements of ‘convenience’ offer. So, An Affair to Remember is a Better Endings tale, through and through.
images are from pixabay.com
Of course the ending of this film is itself a Better Ending conclusion, wonderfully acted by Grant and Kerr. It is Nickie Ferrante’s art that saves their relationship: a painting of Terry wearing his Aunt’s shawl, in Terry’s bedroom, that Nickie had been told “a crippled woman” had purchased.
“If you can paint, I can walk!”
May you, too, Follow Your Heart. Listen closely to the beat of your own drum. This way you, like Terry and Nickie, can embark on the Journey to Live Your Best Life!
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