Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

A broken heart as a learning opportunity?


skimpole
 Share

Recommended Posts

Here's a question.  I'm probably missing lots of obvious choices, not to mention even more not so obvious choices, since it's the kind of genre I don't pay that much attention to.  But can anyone think of a movie where the hero's heart is deliberately broken by the two people closest to him?  And if so, how does he (or conceivably she) get over it.  I suppose the usual solution is to find someone who is clearly an improvement over the heart-breaker.  The special kick I suppose is that arguably the hero deserves to have his (or conceivably her) heart broken, as opposed to it being better in the long run that his/her heart was broken in this particular manner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a question.  I'm probably missing lots of obvious choices, not to mention even more not so obvious choices, since it's the kind of genre I don't pay that much attention to.  But can anyone think of a movie where the hero's heart is deliberately broken by the two people closest to him?  And if so, how does he (or conceivably she) get over it.  I suppose the usual solution is to find someone who is clearly an improvement over the heart-breaker.  The special kick I suppose is that arguably the hero deserves to have his (or conceivably her) heart broken, as opposed to it being better in the long run that his/her heart was broken in this particular manner.

 

Well, it's not really fair of me to use this as an example from film, since it's based on a very famous book; but there's Great Expectations.

For some reason I love that scene, near the beginning of the film, when Pip meets Estella at Miss Havisham's gothic, decaying estate. Estella  (delightfully personified by a very young Jean Simmons) complains to her guardian that Pip is shabby and uncouth, whereupon Miss Havisham murmurs to her, "Well...You can break his heart."

 

I am of course talking about the David Lean version of this story, none of the subsequent remakes even coming close.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, it's not really fair of me to use this as an example from film, since it's based on a very famous book; but there's Great Expectations.

For some reason I love that scene, near the beginning of the film, when Pip meets Estella at Miss Havisham's gothic, decaying estate. Estella  (delightfully personified by a very young Jean Simmons) complains to her guardian that Pip is shabby and uncouth, whereupon Miss Havisham murmurs to her, "Well...You can break his heart."

 

I am of course talking about the David Lean version of this story, none of the subsequent remakes even coming close.

What an excellent example MissWonderly :) This version and the earlier version with Jane Wyatt as Estella are my favorites, although I probably favor the David Lean version you mention a little more. Had I seen this thread I would also have mentioned the film. Glad you thought of it :);)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, lav, I agree.

I love the snooty way Estella complains about Pip - what a "poor" boy he is, how crude his manners are, etc. Jean Simmons nails her character.

And I almost get chills, thinking of the implied significance with which Miss Havisham tells her, "You can break his heart". 

Miss H. and her charge deliberately set about to do just that, and the ensuing story is unforgettable.

 

Great Expecations is regarded by many literary critics as Dickens' greatest novel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, lav, I agree.

I love the snooty way Estella complains about Pip - what a "poor" boy he is, how crude his manners are, etc. Jean Simmons nails her character.

And I almost get chills, thinking of the implied significance with which Miss Havisham tells her, "You can break his heart". 

Miss H. and her charge deliberately set about to do just that, and the ensuing story is unforgettable.

 

Great Expecations is regarded by many literary critics as Dickens' greatest novel.

OMG.  I had to read Great Expectations in the ninth grade as part of my Honors Humanities class (why I was enrolled in that class, I have no idea, lol) and it may be the most boring book I've ever read.  I liked Miss Havisham, because she was bonkers and I liked Mrs. Joe because she was mean to everyone.

 

Is the film possibly better than the novel?

 

Should 31 year old Speedracer revisit the novel? Perhaps she'd like it better than 14 year old Speedracer? 

 

I'll admit I have trouble with 19th century British literature-- perhaps this is the problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OMG.  I had to read Great Expectations in the ninth grade as part of my Honors Humanities class (why I was enrolled in that class, I have no idea, lol) and it may be the most boring book I've ever read.  I liked Miss Havisham, because she was bonkers and I liked Mrs. Joe because she was mean to everyone.

 

Is the film possibly better than the novel?

 

Should 31 year old Speedracer revisit the novel? Perhaps she'd like it better than 14 year old Speedracer? 

 

I'll admit I have trouble with 19th century British literature-- perhaps this is the problem.

 I think you will enjoy the movie regardless of the fact you did not like the book when you were a teenager.  I was enrolled in honours classes too and read a lot of books and plays that others in my grade did not.  Your opinions of movies change as you get older anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 I think you will enjoy the movie regardless of the fact you did not like the book when you were a teenager.  I was enrolled in honours classes too and read a lot of books and plays that others in my grade did not.  Your opinions of movies change as you get older anyway.

 

True that.....

 

But also, your opinion of a book may change based on your life situation! 

 

Take a novel by PHILIP ROTH titled "Letting Go".  When I first read it, I thought it was the most depressing book I ever read.  But as I have a tradition of often revisiting books( I'm now in the middle of my fourth reading of "The Last Angry Man") , the second time I read it I saw the humor in it, and found myslef a few times laughing out loud!  And after a while, I finally figured out why.....

 

The first ime I read the book, MY life was in a dark place as far as my marriage and other struggles with personal demons go.  By the second time I read it, my life and all surrounding situations were vastly improved, and life was much better! 

 

That derailment aside, I know I've seen some movies in which the people closest to the heartbroken hero  have done so, but NOT deliberately, it just sadly worked out that way.  I just can't think of the movie's names...

 

Sepiatone

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OMG.  I had to read Great Expectations in the ninth grade as part of my Honors Humanities class (why I was enrolled in that class, I have no idea, lol) and it may be the most boring book I've ever read.  I liked Miss Havisham, because she was bonkers and I liked Mrs. Joe because she was mean to everyone.

 

Is the film possibly better than the novel?

 

Should 31 year old Speedracer revisit the novel? Perhaps she'd like it better than 14 year old Speedracer? 

 

I'll admit I have trouble with 19th century British literature-- perhaps this is the problem.

 

Oh My God is right. When will high schools learn to stop ruining great books by forcing them on adolescent kids who are too young to enjoy them?

Of course you found it boring; Great Expectations is about a thousand pages long, very complicated plot-wise, and very Dickensian in its writing style.

I wish high schools would realize that Dickens and Shakespeare and their ilk are not appropriate for teenagers, and that making them read these books will just put the kids off for life from ever wanting to read them again.

 

"That said", Dickens is difficult to read for anyone, at any age. His Victorian writing style is very wordy, and he's just not what you could call an easy read. But even people who like reading ( like yourself and many others here) would find Dickens a bit of a slog. Novels have changed a lot since the 1800s, and it's not many who still have the time to invest in a thousand page novel.

 

The David Lean movie made from G.E. is pretty darn good, though. Of course, he leaves out a lot that's in the book, but he would have had to. They didn't have those 10 part Brit lit series back then.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about "In The Company of Men" from 1997 with Aaron Eckhart.

 

I remember this film getting a lot of flack when it came out, since it presented such a hateful situation. But when I finally saw it, I did think the storyline packed a wallop, no matter how cruel the tale was. 

 

Here's the IMDB plot synopsis:
 

Two business executives--one an avowed misogynist, the other recently emotionally wounded by his love interest--set out to exact revenge on the female gender by seeking out the most innocent, uncorrupted girl they can find and ruining her life.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you put Great Expectations into the mix with the

rest of Charley's novels, it ain't really that long, only

about 460 pages in the Penguin edition. Longer than

Hard Times, but much shorter than The Pickwick

Papers and Nicholas Nickleby and many other of

his novels. I've never found Dickens' that difficult

to read. The language is fairly straightforward and

though the plots are complicated, they can be

followed pretty easily with a little work. I certainly

find Dickens easier to read than the Master or

Beckett.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When you put Great Expectations into the mix with the

rest of Charley's novels, it ain't really that long, only

about 460 pages in the Penguin edition. Longer than

Hard Times, but much shorter than The Pickwick

Papers and Nicholas Nickleby and many other of

his novels. I've never found Dickens' that difficult

to read. The language is fairly straightforward and

though the plots are complicated, they can be

followed pretty easily with a little work. I certainly

find Dickens easier to read than the Master or

Beckett.

 

Why do I think you mean Henry James when you say "the Master" ? Or maybe you're referring to the Master and Margarita.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about "In The Company of Men" from 1997 with Aaron Eckhart.

 

I remember this film getting a lot of flack when it came out, since it presented such a hateful situation. But when I finally saw it, I did think the storyline packed a wallop, no matter how cruel the tale was. 

 

Here's the IMDB plot synopsis:

 

Two business executives--one an avowed misogynist, the other recently emotionally wounded by his love interest--set out to exact revenge on the female gender by seeking out the most innocent, uncorrupted girl they can find and ruining her life.

 

Great example, Cave Girl. Neil Labute seems to specialize in stories about a particular kind of cruelty - emotional humiliation. Another film he made that examines a situation as hateful as the one of In the Company of Men is The Shape of Things, in which 

SPOILER ! !

 a graduate psychology student bases her masters' thesis on deliberately, calculatedly making a fellow student fall in love with her so she can manipulate him and ultimately break his heart - oh, and humiliate him.

I hope nobody who plans to see this film read that, since you don't find this out til the end of the film; kind of affects how you react to it, whether you're completely amazed or not.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It occurs to me that you can't have your heart broken by someone  you're not close to.  But can anyone name a movie where this is (a) a good thing or (B) takes the side of the heartbreakers?  I know that James Cagney is better off not following The Strawberry Blonde.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why do I think you mean Henry James when you say "the Master" ? Or maybe you're referring to the Master and Margarita.

Your first supposition is correct. There is no master

but the Master and Henry James is his messenger. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Almost Famous, William has a mad crush on Penny Lane throughout the entire film.  He even proclaims his love for her to the band members in Stillwater to point out how big of jerks they were to her.  William is the one who saves Penny's life when she overdoses on the Quaaludes and there are other moments pointing toward his crush on her.  In the end though, Penny leaves for Morocco.  William is left with Russell, the lead singer of Stillwater and William is able to finish his assignment for Rolling Stone Magazine.  It's better that William didn't end up with Penny.  He needs to focus on finishing school.  Penny's lifestyle is too fast for William.

 

In Casablanca, Rick's heart was broken by Ilsa when she dumped him (without an explanation) on the day he thought they were running off together to Marseilles.  When she re-appears, it completely rocks Rick's world.  One can presume that Rick was able to move on in Casablanca, Morocco. He runs a successful club and seems to be doing very well.  With Ilsa back in his life, his old feelings of betrayal and abandonment return.  Ilsa's feelings for Rick are reignited as well.  At the end of the film, Rick and Ilsa could have gotten back together and sent Victor to America, but Rick made the grand gesture to step aside and have Ilsa be with her husband.  Ilsa was married to Victor before she and Rick's grand romance in Paris (when she thought he had died in the concentration camp), it is only proper that Ilsa and Victor's relationship stay intact.  While Rick gives off an "all about me" vibe, he can show moments of generosity and compassion--the famous airport scene of Casablanca is an example of this.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I suppose Almost Famous and Casablanca fit the category as I put it.  Perhaps I should narrow it down.  There are excellent reasons for the protagonists not winning the girl.  Ilsa is married, her husband needs her, he is a heroic figure in a desperate time who needs all the help he can get, and there are better things Rick should be doing with his time.  William is too young, should finish school and isn't a good match for Penny.  Can one therefore think of a movie where the hero's heart is broken, even though he (or for that matter she) would be a perfectly deserving suitor, and yet takes the side of the hearbreakers?  (In other words, it's like Almost Famous and Casablanca but is much less convincing.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose Almost Famous and Casablanca fit the category as I put it.  Perhaps I should narrow it down.  There are excellent reasons for the protagonists not winning the girl.  Ilsa is married, her husband needs her, he is a heroic figure in a desperate time who needs all the help he can get, and there are better things Rick should be doing with his time.  William is too young, should finish school and isn't a good match for Penny.  Can one therefore think of a movie where the hero's heart is broken, even though he (or for that matter she) would be a perfectly deserving suitor, and yet takes the side of the hearbreakers?  (In other words, it's like Almost Famous and Casablanca but is much less convincing.)

 

Well at least Paul Henreid is 1 for 2;    In Casablanca he is the husband and his wife decides to stay with him, while in Now Voyager he is the husband that for various reasons doesn't get the girl he really wants and instead stays with the wife. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...