This isn’t really a post about love, actually. Or maybe it is. But it’s the movie that’s inspired me tonight. (It’s one of my new favorite Christmas movies. If you haven’t seen it, rent it. Now. You’ll be glad you did.)
I watched it again tonight for the 560th time. Each time, I notice something different. Tonight, I noticed how the actors convey such a wide range of emotions through their expressions, without having to utter a word. (No wonder they get paid the big bucks.) My friend noticed how women can be so strong, holding themselves together through times of sorrow and crisis, pretending everything is okay until they find the right time to fall apart. (We decided that men handle it much better, reacting on the spot instead of keeping all of that emotion bottled up inside, which just can’t be healthy.)
But most of all, I noticed communication – or the lack of it.
In one scene, a man is in love with his best friend’s wife, but no one knows. She finally realizes it when she watches his video of their wedding, and discovers that the entire tape is of her – only her. On Christmas Eve, he comes to their door and, through a series of statements written on flash cards, finally tells her, with no hope or agenda, how he feels about her “because at Christmas, you tell the truth.”
In another scene, a vacationing writer and his housekeeper fall in love. But they don’t speak a common language, so neither actually knows how the other feels. They have long conversations, speaking openly and honestly about their feelings, although neither understands a word the other is saying.
It makes me wonder how their story would have gone if they spoke the same language. Would they have been so open and honest if they could understand what they were saying? If the guy in Scene #1 told the girl how he felt in the first place, would she still have married his friend?
Why is it so hard to be honest with people we care about? I’m not saying we lie to those we love; instead, maybe we just put off telling them. Or think they know. Or think they wouldn’t care. Or think they would hate us/run away if they really knew what was in our hearts.
Then again, maybe that’s just me.
On this day, when so many people are still reeling from the horrific events in CT, I’m reminded yet again how important it is to make sure people know how we feel about them. Because there are no guarantees. We might not have another chance to say, “I love you,” or “You’re special to me.” Even if we have to say it in another language. Or write it on flash cards. Or mow it into a field. Whatever it takes to get the message across.
Who knows how our stories would end, if we truly knew what was in each other’s hearts?
Anyway, most of the relationships in the movie turn out okay (it IS a romantic comedy, after all). You’ll have to watch it, however, to find out what happens to these folks.
Now, excuse me while I search for those flash cards. Because it IS Christmas. And at Christmas, you tell the truth.