Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Essentials: Roman Holiday

It's hard to believe now that this soft romantic once maintained that he hated romantic comedies.

I was oh so ignorant.

About 15 years ago, I watched Roman Holiday. My hard cynicism was no match for the sneaky sincerity of this princess-meets-reporter joy ride. I was unprepared for a film that dared to explore real emotions in a real situation, laying the charm on heavy all while continuing to be real. Because in this tale, there is no escape from the drudgery of personal responsibility without consequences. There is a reluctant acceptance of the necessity of duty. And that was refreshing to this young man who had been lied to by so many foolish late 20th century romcoms.

I had never seen a romantic comedy that was this honest or, more importantly, this joyous. The romance that occurs is believable because we've seen the tangible joy involved in it.

I cry at the end of Roman Holiday. I try to hide it. It's still true. I blubber like a baby on the inside. Every time.

In the end, Roman Holiday is a brave movie. I admire its courage. Each time I see it, I am astonished that it ends the way it does.

Completely perfect and utterly essential.

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