I don’t know about you, but we’re a movie family. When life is spinning a million miles an hour, nothing helps settle us better than the big screen. Or, if we’re home, the much-smaller-than-big-screen living room television. Grab a few blankets, do up the popcorn, and we’re good to go.
This weekend, to break up the monotony of my oldest studying for this week’s finals at school, we were chipping away at the Rocky movies. Admittedly, this all started when my youngest selected trumpet as his band instrument of choice several months ago. And what better trumpet-screaming movie theme song is there than Bill Conti’s “Gonna Fly Now”?
(Yep, you know just sang that in your head…it’s okay, let it run for a few bars…or a few hours. And for the serious trumpet diehards, your mind probably switched straight over to Maynard Ferguson’s version. You’re welcome LOL)
It’s been years since I’ve seen Rocky, so it was fun seeing Philadelphia through Stallone’s eyes. That lead to many questions from my youngest (Why are they setting trash cans on fire, Mom?!) and many “here’s what’s going on” explanations from me. All good, all education on some life-skills level I guess, but then came the lesson I didn’t see coming: the romance.
Now, this isn’t the first movie that I’d seen as a kid and completely missed the romance in. Sound of Music? Totally a romance. (What?! It’s not just about a gaggle of singing kids?! Nope.) And while Rocky is nothing like Sound of Music, they both highlight a couple who saw past their differences to find the last thing we all expected: love.
I must admit, the romance part was lost on my youngest. He was bored through the kissing face scenes, which I’m sure is how I was at his age. It’s probably why I don’t remember there being a love story in the movies at all. Now that I’m older, though, I’ll admit—I totally swooned in that scene where Rocky takes Adrian back to his place for the first time.
“I wanna kiss ya. You don’t have to kiss me back if ya don’t feel like it.”
And there Adrian is, scared out of her mind, and yet reveling under his attention, his touch. Hell, swoon nothing—I damn near teared up it was so innocent, so intimate.
Romance is out there, all around us. In today’s crazy, everything at our fingertips, orchestrate the image of our lives through social media posts-kind of world, I worry sometimes that it’s getting lost in the shuffle. How many moments of connection—snuggling, talking, dreams sharing, soul searching—are missed while we’re checking our Facebook feeds, or posting crazy cat pics on Instagram? Actions, remember, speak louder than words (and tweets/posts/chats).
And I’m not just talking bouquets of roses or boxes of chocolates, either. Heck, Adrian didn’t even get a ring when Rocky proposed to her. Did it matter? Did she even bring it up? Nope, because she was too busy reveling in the feeling of being loved. Romance isn’t about things, it’s about feelings. About lifting one another up, making each other feel appreciated, feel loved, when they need it most. About sharing fears because they trust the other person to keep them safe and guide them through life’s struggles.
About growing and cultivating an emotional connection like no other.
As crazy as it may sound, Rocky was a wonderful reminder of what I want to keep weaving into my own stories, the kind of emotional connection between two characters struggling to make something of themselves without losing themselves along the way. Of love, and the romance it inspires.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to prepare for the cold war questions that are sure to accompany Rocky IV. And oh, will the kids be upset when they see what happens to Apollo Creed. But hey, I’ll just point out that he went on to make many more great movies. Happy Gilmore, anyone? 😉
Have a great week everybody, and keep your eye out for romance—you never know when, or where, it’ll appear. Because it’s out there, I know it is.