Paris by Moonlight

I saw Woody Allen’s new film “Moonlight in Paris” last night.  It’s a brioche of a movie.  You know a brioche, oui?  Full of air, light, puffy… and irresistable.  I was charmed, as I was meant to be, by Paris in all her romantic best.  I’m not typically a Woody Allen fan, but I did enjoy this light and satisfying pastry.

I don’t want to give too much away for those who haven’t seen it, but the film does make a statement about how we romanticize things like Paris, for instance, or a certain time period we find utterly charming, or the man we meet at a party who seems like our perfect match.  It’s always the thing that’s just out of reach, not really accessible, that allows us to see only the allure.  We’re treated visually to the very best Paris has to offer, not the graffiti in the subway or the crowds or the inhospitable Parisians.  Paris by moonlight?  Who wouldn’t fall in love?  Ahh, Paris!  There’s nothing like it.

Notice I haven’t said a word about plot or characters.  The greater theme is the romantic one.  Romance — and love — require us to turn a blind eye to our loved one’s faults and love the one who stands before us, not the one we’ve imagined. Even if we’ve been in a relationship for a long time, romance is still possible.  How do we get there?  Well, for starters, what do you rehearse about your beloved?  His or her many faults and shortcomings, or all the ways you’re blessed to be part of his or her life?  Do you imagine the best or the worst when they come home late, or when they forget something important? Do you often try to remember what qualities and interests drew you together?

I’ve been married 28 years now, and I promise you, my list could go either way.  I’m sure my husband feels the same.  But in our thoughts about each other, we do our best — most of the time — to “bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things.”

Romance — and the pursuit of it — has its place even in long term relationships.  But to truly be known by another — and loved for it — is the greatest gift we’re given.

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