Let’s Talk Romance: Love Don’t Come Easy

“… The course of true love never did run smooth …” Lysander in a A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act 1, scene 1, 132–140 by William Shakespeare, English playwright

There’s a universal truth that applies to both real-life romances and fictional ones: Falling in love don’t come easy.

Consider a few novels and movies with me:

  • Pride and Prejudice: Elisabeth and Mr. Darcy spend the better part of the book heartily disliking and misjuding one another. And when Mr. Darcy does declare his love for Elisabeth, he tells her, “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” But Jane Austen goes on to write, “. . . His sense of her inferiority–of its being a degradation– . . . were dwelt on . . . ” Not wise, Mr. Darcy. No wonder Elisabeth rejected you.
  • Save the Date: Jenny B. Jones writes a novel where, once again, the hero (Alex) and the heroine (Lucy) dislike each other. Despite that — they need each other. Alex hopes Lucy can help him win votes for his Congressional bid and Alex promises to give Lucy the money she needs for her shelter. But are they using one another — or falling in love?

What about movies?

  • The Magic of Ordinary Days (one of my all-time favorite movies!): Ray marries Livy, who is pregnant with another man’s child. He tells her later that he married her because he thought it was God’s will. Livy, however, is still in love with the man who abandoned her — and she hates being married to a farmer and living in such an isolated location. Can an arranged marriage become a real marriage?
  • While You Were Sleeping: Lucy is in love with and engaged to Peter — and then she falls in love with Peter’s brother! (Hey — there’s a familiar plot line!) And Peter’s brother, Jack, falls in love with Lucy. What a mess!

Shakespeare had it right when he wrote “… The course of true love never did run smooth …” But then again, isn’t that half the fun of reading a romance novel or watching a romantic movie — seeing when and how the hero and heroine figure it all out and achieve their happily ever after?

In Your Words: What’s your favorite “love don’t come easy” romance novel or movie? Looking forward to you joining the conversation!

I’m visiting with Kathy Harris over at the Divine Detour blog today — talking about the detours in my life & what kind of song I’d be! I hope you drop by!

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  1. terri tiffany
    June 12, 2012, 6:03 am   /  Reply

    I think my favorite romance movie is Sleepless in Seattle. Always cry over it:)

    • Beth Vogt
      June 12, 2012, 6:21 am   /  Reply

      That is a favorite of mine too. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan = great chemistry.

  2. June 12, 2012, 6:14 am   /  Reply

    Mine has to be “You’ve Got Mail.” Perhaps sacrificing something that breaks our heart opens it to new possibilities. And working through that can be a trial, indeed.

  3. June 12, 2012, 7:40 am   /  Reply

    It’s a historical with romance in it, but my favorite as I consider this morning is Cold Mountain because no matter how huge or how many obstacles, he always comes back to home and to her, because love centers and enables him.

    • Beth Vogt
      June 12, 2012, 7:51 am   /  Reply

      That is so romantic, Dee — the idea that no matter what — he will always come back to her.

  4. Jeanne
    June 12, 2012, 7:47 am   /  Reply

    Good points here. 🙂 I love the scene you quoted from Pride and Prejudice. Poor Elisabeth. No wonder she told him off. 🙂

    For my recent favorite book it would have to be The Wedding Dress. Love how Rachel wove the story(ies) together so beautifully, and also showed the rough road love leads people on. 🙂

    For movies, that’s tough. It seems like a number of them make love difficult to find. Leap Year comes to mind. I know there are others I like, but they’re not coming to mind right now. At least not ones that haven’t already been named. 🙂

    • Beth Vogt
      June 12, 2012, 7:52 am   /  Reply

      I loved The Wedding Dress too. Rachel wove the stories together so beautifully and showed so many facets of love and romance.

  5. June 12, 2012, 7:50 am   /  Reply

    I’m with Donna. I heart “You’ve Got Mail.”

    • Beth Vogt
      June 12, 2012, 7:52 am   /  Reply


  6. June 12, 2012, 8:17 am   /  Reply

    You named two of my all-time favorites, Beth. Hard to beat “Pride & Prejudice”(book or movie) and “While You Were Sleeping”. Have you seen the 2004 BBC adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s “North & South”? Fantastic! Or BBC 2006, “Jane Eyre” with Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson?(great casting) A couple of recent movies, not of quite the same caliber, but a lot of “rocky road to romance” fun were, “Confessions of a Shopaholic” and “Leap Year”.

    • Beth Vogt
      June 12, 2012, 8:53 am   /  Reply

      OK: I have some To Be Watched movies for the summer: Leap Year is one of them. I’ve heard good things about this movie so many times.

      • June 12, 2012, 9:51 am   /  Reply

        Oh my gosh! How could I forget to list “Last of the Mohicans”?-I’ve watched sooo many times.(close eyes when Magua kills Cora’s father)Great scenes under the stars -then under the waterfall. And one of the best screen kisses ever. Powerful romance carries me through the movie, but does stretch the limit of violent content I can take.

        • Beth Vogt
          June 12, 2012, 10:01 pm   /  Reply

          OK — maybe I just FF to the romantic scenes?

  7. Patti Mallett
    June 12, 2012, 8:17 am   /  Reply

    Last night I watched Pierce Brosnan in “Robinson Crusoe.” Those were some big stakes!

    Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy is my faav–or-ite!! Though all of the above are on my list.
    I was thinking of Two Week’s Notice yesterday and going its Beats.

    Sometimes true love does come easy, and last long. But those stories (though very nice to experience) make for boring romance movies/books.

    As I worked yesterday I reminded myself of a line I read somewhere: A good story is REALITY SURPRISED. Hmmm. . . .

    Thanks Beth. Have a good one!!

    • Beth Vogt
      June 12, 2012, 8:53 am   /  Reply

      Love this quote, Patti: A good story is Reality Surprised!

  8. June 12, 2012, 8:49 am   /  Reply

    These are all among my faves, especially The Magic Of Ordinary Days, (Beth, we are speaking same language again!). P&P is also one of my faves. It’s not easy getting into a story in which H&H actually hate each other, maybe that’s why I first fell in love with P&P as a film (1984 version. Or maybe it was Wishbone…who can resist a JRT).

    But I think what we love about Love Don’t Come Easy is, like Delores said of CM, we are a sucker for a guy who will stop at nothing to be with the girl he loves.

    How about The Last of The Mohicans? They aren’t necessarily hating each other throughout, but falling in love in spite of lots of opposition, and Nathaniel’s line “I WILL find you! No matter what occurs. Stay alive and I will find you!” gives me goosebumps even as I type it. 🙂 Cora’s willingness to stand up to her father to defend Nathaniel’s honor, Nathaniel’s willingness to give his life to save her (& the man who wants her) . . . and I could go on. When love don’t come easy, it’s far sweeter because of the price someone is willing to pay for it.

    GREAT thoughts. I’m still plotting a novel and hadn’t thought about the cost of love factor.

    • Beth Vogt
      June 12, 2012, 8:54 am   /  Reply

      True story, Camille: I walked out of The Last of the Mohicans — about the time the one Indian threatened to cut out the guy’s heart and … well, you know.
      I never got to the romance part …
      Need to give that movie another try.
      Or read the book, I guess.

      • June 12, 2012, 10:31 am   /  Reply

        Oh- if you’re fairly squeamish, this one will probably disturb you, it’s a bit brutal in places (Did you make it through Braveheart? Some fascinating love story there too… but lots of blood…) but if you can get past the fighting, the love story is timeless.

        • Beth Vogt
          June 12, 2012, 10:02 pm   /  Reply

          No to Braveheart, but I’ve analyzed it to pieces, thanks to Susie May Warren and My Book Therapy. I feel like I’ve watched it.

  9. June 12, 2012, 9:08 am   /  Reply

    Fun post! I LOVE P&P and While You Were Sleeping. Also, Anne of Green Gables…where the only thing keeping Anne and Gil apart are Anne’s fanciful notions about what love SHOULD be.

    • Beth Vogt
      June 12, 2012, 5:54 pm   /  Reply

      Lindsay: I loved Anne of Green Gables too … and the love story was done well, I thought, both in the book and in the movie.

  10. June 12, 2012, 9:25 am   /  Reply

    I would have to add the movie How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days. No matter what they tried to do to NOT fall for each other, romance took over.

    I watched a romantic movie last night that only seemed adequate due to the very fact that falling in love was too easy. There was one minute obstacle that was stretched throughout the whole movie but it didn’t stop the characters from falling in love – they only delayed admitting it. Money NOT well spent.

    Thanks for pointing out this important factor Beth. Hopefully I can portray it well as I write my own stories.

    • Beth Vogt
      June 12, 2012, 10:01 pm   /  Reply

      Jodi, I read a book once where the obstacle between the hero and heroine was so minuscule. I kept reading, thinking “Surely, there is more to the story than this.”
      Got to the end: Nothing.
      I threw the book against the wall.

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