We may be the last generation to go on dates. Technology and social networking are changing the courtship process; just ask my 20-something girlfriends who get freaked out when guys call "to talk" and see hooking up as the first step to a relationship. I wonder how some of cinema’s greatest love stories would’ve fared if set today?
See, The Obstacle to Overcome provides The Grand Romantic Gesture. Take The Great Gatsby, opening on Friday. Gatsby becomes a millionaire and throws epic parties, all to win back Daisy’s affection. In The Notebook, Noah builds a house for Allie even though he believes he’ll never see her again. Jamie and Aurelia learn each other’s language without any real hope of reconnecting in Love Actually. And Wesley saves Buttercup, while believing she abandoned their love.
Today, Facebook would render Nick Carraway unnecessary; Gatsby would submit his friend request after he’d made his millions and he would lure Daisy in by posting photos of his mansion and lavish, star-studded parties. Certainly George Wilson would download a GPS tracking app to Myrtle’s smartphone, eliminating any confusion as to where she was spending her days.
In The Notebook, Mama couldn't hide love letters with today's accessibility to email, social networking and text messages. Love Actually’s English-speaking Jamie (Colin Firth) and Portuguese-speaking Aurelia could’ve seen their romance take off with the help of Google Translate. Cell service is spotty on the open seas, but Wesley would’ve Kik’d a message to Buttercup to let him know he was okay – and stayed connected by liking her photos on Instagram under the on screen name DreadPirateR_1987.
As our kids go forward into a world where the rules of courtship are changing, we may not be able to offer them advice but at least we can point to the film archives to memorialize how things were in the Good Ol’ Days.
It’s Mother’s Day weekend! Here are three movies to see with Mom:
1. The Great Gatsby. The subject matter seems pretty mature but if your teens are old enough to have been assigned the book, then they’re probably old enough to see the movie with a parent.
2. Oz the Great and Powerful. It’s still in theaters and delivers the mom-approved message: it’s better to be a good person than a great one.
3. Safe Haven (now on DVD). You think I’m recommending it because it’s a chick flick but there’s an element that makes it a movie a mother can truly appreciate. Be warned, though: one
sexy sex scene makes this not a fit for tweens.
To see what kids think about these movies, go to www.KidsPickFlicks.com , where all kids are movie critics.