Romantic Comedies Say The Darnedest Things

Nothing is real, nothing exists without a background grid against which to perceive it. A white circle cannot be seen on a white field.

The trees in Central Park are more beautiful because of the monstrous man-made towers stabbing the skies around them. The skyscrapers, for that matter, stand more solemn for the grand green fractals of trees playing at their pomposity when autumn rolls around.

Just the same comes humor in the middle of desperate times, or even more accessible to me, gravitas during lilting, funny good humor:

Mary and her mother, Catherine are having lunch. Mary is telling her mother about discovering her husband Stephen has been cheating on her.

<br/>MARY<br/> …you have no idea how this feels<br/>

<br/>CATHERINE<br/> Well, let me try…It feels like someone kicked you in the stomach. It feels like your heart stopped beating. It feels like that dream, you know the one where you’re falling and you want so desperately to wake up before you hit the ground but it’s all out of your control. You can’t trust anything anymore. No one is who they say they are. Your life is changed forever and the only thing to come out of the whole ugly experience is no one will ever be able to break your heart like that again.

Maybe it’s that the humor leaves you vulnerable. It’s not that it leaves you open or exposed in that sneak-attack sort of way in that heavy moment pounces on you leaving you wounded because that would work at cross purposes. No, it’s more like the humor keeps you open to the loveliness and grace of things, the gentleness and gentility that grants you the luxury of smiles and laughter in the first place, that prepares you to receive a sadder sentiment without defensiveness snapping into place before the lesson can be absorbed instead of deflected.

And what Catherine says is true, at least for me it’s proven so. Most of it. The heart stops upon such a discovery. Time stops so that you can parse the new knowledge, because the knowledge strikes deep into your own sense of reality: someone you’ve let in so deep has unsheathed something sharp hacked away for no better reason than the novelty of watching things bleed and “I was bored” and “It was just a cut and didn’t mean anything”.

Later in the movie, the following transpires:

<br/>MARY<br/> There should be a pill that you can take to make love go away.

<br/>CATHERINE<br/> Why would you want to make it go away? It’s hard enough to find it in the first place.

You still go back, maybe not with the same person—or maybe you do, and let someone in and just as deep and invite them into your own sense of reality and depend on them inasmuch as you depend on yourself.

Some come out of that first experience certain that “no one will ever be able to break your heart like that again”, but I’ll never feel that kind of certainty.

That kind of pain, yes. Certainty? No.