Saturday, April 25, 2015

Thoughts from a Hopeful Romantic: What's In a Name?

When coming up with a name for my blog series, it was an easy choice.  In order to relate it back to romance, I knew that there was only one place to turn: the 1984 film Romancing the Stone.

For those familiar with the movie, Romancing the Stone tells the story of Joan Wilder, played by the beautiful Kathleen Turner, a romance writer who pens stories about the kind of man she hopes will come to sweep her off her feet.  It turns out that she finds him in the most unlikely of places: while in South American trying to find her missing sister.  Jack Colton (Michael Douglas) is a drifter trying to achieve his dram of getting a sailboat but is not getting too far when he meets Joan.  What begins as Jack getting Joan to Cartegena quickly becomes a rollicking romantic adventure, with the two falling in love as they discover a priceless gem that her sister's captor desires.  It is the perfect mirroring of what a romance writer wishes would happen to them.

One of my favorite scenes in the film takes place toward the end, when Joan turns in a new manuscript based on her adventures.  Upon finishing it, her editor tells her that she is a hopeless romantic.  Joan shakes her head and replies, almost to herself, "No, hopeful.  A hopeful romantic."  Something about those words struck me from the first time I heard them.  Especially since I began writing romance, they have become even more prevalent.  After all, those who write romance and have yet to find their real-life hero (or heroine) are not hopeless.  They have hope that they will eventually meet the person who will ignite passion and love within them like no one else can.  While they may not be ruggedly handsome or strikingly beautiful, the person we long to fall for exudes the same type of qualities we admire in those protagonists on a page.

So, that's the story of the name.  There's nothing very complex about it, just a connection I couldn't help but make.