What do we so love about classic love stories? We call true love of a romantic sort ‘kismet’; two wandering souls find in each other a magical congruence or mysterium coniunctionum that lifts each of them to greater at-One-ment not only with one another but within their unified Selves or however the story defines the enhanced quality of these ‘charmed’ lovers being able to Live Their Dream, Now! (i.e. to “live happily, ever after”).
Mythology and literature, drama and film and poetry—all artistic forms of expression—are replete with the image of predestined lovers finding each other and in the process, finding or completing their Selves.
Many of the great love stories bring major change into the lovers’ lives. They thought they would “settle,” but no, the Universe has another plan for them. They stumble upon each other as a form of serendipity and as if it is unavoidable, they take notice and take the plunge! “Happily Ever After” awaits—so we are told anyway—just around the bend.
Let’s review some modern love stories from cinema:
Here Bogart as Rick Blain sacrifices his own feelings of devotion to Ilsa, an old love, for the better, higher interests of all concerned. His heart changes as a result; he drops remorse for his earlier loss and attains a higher perspective.
An Affair to Remember
Here Deborah Kerr (as Terry McKay) finds her one true if unlikely love while on an ocean cruise, just before each of them is scheduled to marry the fiancees awaiting their return. Both are willing to make sacrifices in order to ultimately be together. Cary Grant (as Nick Ferrante) renounces his inheritance to earn a living through his art—forging a more authentic Self in the process—while Terry almost sacrifices the love affair altogether after suffering an accident that paralyzes her. She wants to be whole and able to carry her own part if she is to deserve to marry Nick. But Kismet has its way, weaving a pathway by which these predestined lovers are able to unite in the End.
Sleepless in Seattle/ You’ve Got Mail
Nora Ephron produced a pair of similar contemporary tales of Kismet, even casting the same two lover-actors with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Sleepless in Seattle alludes back to An Affair to Remember, having the lovers eventually connect, as based on that film, at the top of the Empire State building, achieving an apex of higher connection. With You’ve Got Mail the star-crossed lovers meet online as well as outwardly, needing to each transcend their Pride (Joe Fox) and Prejudice (Kathleen Kelly)—yes, based on that Jane Austen allusion—before they can earn their own balanced love that will suit them from then forth, “happily ever after.”
In all three of these ‘classic’ films, Love does more than simply triumph by bringing appropriate partners together into longterm romantic relationships. It cancels the inappropriate, immature relations they had been settling for or holding onto in memory while preparing each lover to gain self-realization so that their ultimate, true marriage can ring true and benefit the Whole of their families and worlds.
Do you have a tale of kismet to share? I welcome your insights and stories!