So, as I mentioned below, Middlemarch has one of the most romantic lines ever. But I have to say that it wouldn't work without The Look. There is this certain look that is an indispensable component of the very best romantic moments in chic flicks. It's a look that passes from hero to heroine that is fraught with meaning and that sort of heart-skipping mental exclamation point that comes when the characters (and viewer) realize that there is Something Going On and we darn well better be sure to stick around and see what unfolds.
Gilbert's look at Anne when he says "Carrots" (at the end of the whole thing, not when he breaks the slate).
Robin Hood's look at Marian when he's on the boat, being rowed away from her.
Mr. Darcy's look at Elizabeth when she is playing the piano and looks up at him.
Captain Wentworth's look at Anne Elliot when she comes out to meet him after reading his letter.
Etc., etc. You get the idea. Robert Redford is really good at The Look.
I've had my own experience with The Look. I got one when I was dating Rog, and it basically marked the point at which the relationship became serious.
So, guys, practice it in the mirror. Maybe it will make your dreams come true.
If your wife doesn't burst out laughing.
Yeah, come to think of it, married people don't really get The Look anymore. Well, they get a look, but it's not that look. It usually means "You've got something green stuck between your teeth," or "It's time to goooooooooo" (at a boring party), or "Your turn to change the diaper." So what is it that disappears when you get married, and what is it replaced by? Whatever it is that happens, Jane Austen didn't know about it, because she never married. That's why her books are so very romantic and fun--but ultimately not as deeply moving to me, because they leave out the most important part of a relationship, which is what happens to it once both parties have expressed commitment. How do they learn to live together? How does their love change and grow? How do they become best friends, and then one in heart? That's the deeper romance, but it is not an exclamation point. (But I secretly believe that it will be an exclamation point in the next life, that God will magnify our relationships so that we can feel all the best parts of the falling in love process AT THE SAME TIME as we feel all the best parts of the being in love, learning to love, loving with all our soul process that happens over a lifetime.)
So what, really, is romance AFTER marriage?
Well, for me it is my husband, who doesn't care for poetry, buying me a laptop to pursue my hobby. It's his arriving home tired, looking at me (the look?), and sending me to my room with a good book for some peace while HE makes dinner. It's his tucking me in when I'm tired or sad. It's his holding me when I cry.
That's true romance.
It's nice, though, to have a Look to look back on, too.