In movies and books, some moments send us romantics over the edge. It’s the “I can’t even!” moments where our hearts turn to mush and our stomachs knot like ooey gooey pretzels fresh from the oven.
A few weeks ago, I had to talk about romantic conflict during an author panel and I used the movie Dirty Dancing. So many great scenes, but “The Lift” is one of those I can’t even moments!
Johnny can’t be with Baby because fraternizing with guests will get him fired and he needs this job. It’s basically his year’s salary. At first he thinks she’s a spoiled brat anyway. That first dance with her is really just a taunt. A “teach this naive snot a lesson” which I love. And then she steps up to help him when his dance partner can’t do her part at another hotel. Baby can’t dance. At all. And it frustrates the mess out of him. So he takes her to the woods because this girl just won’t give up! She’s going to learn this. And really, deep down, he admires that. She’s really everything he wants to be.
Here in this scene, we get all the feels! He motions for her to come out on the limb. Which is great symbolism and we can layer our writing with things like this. “Come out on this limb with me. Trust me.” She’s afraid. Says no. But then she does and she realizes it’s actually pretty fun. And here is this amazing attractive man dancing and she cackles! I can relate. Such an unattractive laugh. She feels unattractive. everyone has smooth straight hair and hers is frizzy and curly. She can’t really dance. And yet she’s here with him and they’re dancing out on a limb.
Then they move to the field to learn the lift. She’s jumping into his arms and he says to her, “You’ll hurt me if you don’t trust me.” Oh, my heart! Because there’s so much more there than dancing. Isn’t that the real truth in any relationship? She jumps until they fall to the ground and laugh. There’s all this physical contact and yet the emotional connection is building. She’s becoming more than some means to an end–a bratty rich girl who started out helping him. They’re becoming friends. Partners.
And we come to the water scene. Her tank top slips off her shoulder and she goes to fix it and he reaches out to help her, pauses and drops his hand. That “I want to touch her, but I shouldn’t. I’m helping and yet feel awkward because I’m falling for this girl!” No kissing. Just all the feels we love in romances. It’s a falling in love, heartwarming moment. Ah sigh!
What scene in a movie or book gives you all the feels and warms your heart?