Friday, July 31, 2009

Must Watch Friday:: You're Not A Romance Fan?

PHS Founder Member Trish Wylie looks at her viewing preferences over the years and comes to the conclusion her career was inevitable. Think you're not a Romance fan? Trish says you might not realize you are until you look more closely at what you're watching...

I was young. My annoying brother and sister were old enough to ask questions like 'Who is that?' and 'What are they doing?' and the inevitable 'What happens next?', which in fairness didn't change for most of my Movie going childhood, but doing the Math that means I must have been about seven when I saw the film that set me on the path to a career as a romance writer. That Movie was Lady And The Tramp. As is often the case when you're young, the fact they had four legs (in this case dogs) merely added to my enjoyment. But what really captured my attention and kept my starry eyes riveted to the screen to the point where I was able to ignore 50% of the annoying questions from those younger and infinitely more irritating than me, was the love story. The scene where they were eating spaghetti to the sound of Italian waiters serenading them was bliss. I mean, who can forget the moment when they worked their way from different ends of a string of spaghetti until they KISSED. *Sigh* That just never happens in a romance novel you know. I guess dogs falling in love doesn't sell to adults the same way. Well, unless you could werewolf love stories. Wolves/Dogs... TomAto/TomatO...

As I got older this trend for ro
mance continued. There were more Disney films but even as I left the realms of cartoon romance, I was being drawn into the love story in practically everything I watched. As head-over-heels in love as I fell for Christopher Reeves Superman with Margot Kidders Lois Lane (Who can forget the 'Can you read my mind' flying sequence?!), my heart was OWNED by Han Solo and Princess Leia's romance. Han Solo was my first serious onscreen crush. He was cocky, irreverent, had an incredibly cheeky smile, was a bit of a space pirate all things considered and if a PRINCESS could fall in love with him, who was I to argue? Yes, there were space ships and bad guys and lots of stuff that made my eyes practically pop out of my adolescent head (and sowed the seeds for a life-long love of Sci-Fi) but THAT kiss in The Empire Strikes Back was everything I wanted a kiss to be. And the end scene where Han was lowered into a pit to be frozen and shipped off by a bounty hunter, where Leia called out to him 'I love you!' and he answered with a lop-sided smile and the words, 'I know.' - Dear Lord but I bawled! To have them reunited and in danger in The Return Of The Jedi where the lines were reversed was just HEAVEN. Sure, the good guys won, Luke's father was Darth Vader, he lost a hand when he found out yada, yada, but the most important thing to me was Han and Leia got their happily ever after...

The trend continued into TV. Once again Superman followed me, but this time it was in the MUCH sexier Lois And Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman. Dean Cain as Clark Kent... mmmm... Oh, sorry, having a moment there. There was the classic love story and F
LYING (can't beat a guy who flies in my opinion) mixed in with a weekly dose of bad guys and a Lex Luthor with HAIR. By now my greed for romance was growing and along came Maddie and David in Moonlighting. David was cocky, irreverent, had an incredibly cheeky smile, was a bit of a scoundrel all things considered (anyone seeing another pattern here?) but I watched and watched and WATCHED until he got together with Maddie. Sad thing is, I don't remember their first kiss the same way I do Han and Leia's. I feel a trip to Amazon coming on after this. Sadly I DO remember how the show went downhill at speed once they DID get together. Maybe I'll not need that trip to Amazon after all. But by then I'd moved on again and it was time for Mulder and Scully in the X-Files where I learned the true meaning of antic...i....... pation... and was thwarted along the way by varying different monsters that went bump in the night, or the drain, or in ice and a BEE before eventually getting the kiss I'd been waiting nigh on a DECADE for and a baby William. Oh, poor, poor baby William! But despite poor baby William, the most important thing for me? Even in last years X-Files movie where I had ice and aliens, there were NO BEES and Mulder and Scully are STILL together! Hooray for love!!!

For me the love stories were never about angst ridden love quadrangles or dodecahedrons in soap operas or teen dramas. Though to be honest Joey and Pacey in Dawson's Creek were must-see viewing for me once Joey got rid of Dawson. And with scenes like this one HERE who can blame me? Yes, I know it's teen angst, but some of it is just so beautiful. Some people would argue that our emotions are at their strongest and virtually uncontrollable in those years, and watching this kind of a love story I would tend to agree. The main thing with Joey and Pacey? Years later, when the series was over, they came back and filmed a special with the characters all-growed-up. Yes, Jenn died and left her baby girl behind, it was all very sad. But Pacey and Joey found each other again and got their Happily Ever After. Everyone say awwwww.

So several thin
gs have stayed with me over my many years of viewing a screen. First and foremost I'm a big Movie fan and I collect them on DVD's along with box sets of some of my favourite TV shows. I'm a Sci-Fi Geek and a Superman fanatic and avoid horror Movies like the plague. But the shelves upon shelves of Rom-Com's and period dramas like Pride & Prejudice and North & South all have the one origin. As does my writing career. It all goes back to that first starry eyed fascination with two dogs falling in love over a bowl of spaghetti. From Lady And The Tramp to The Empire Strikes Back to Moonlighting to the X-Files and yes, even to Dawson's Creek (heaven help me), my love of a good romance has remained. Yes, I can enjoy a good action Movie or adventure or major blockbuster with a superhero or undercover Guinea Pigs with the best of them, but that little added something that can take them from 'meh' to my DVD collection is ALWAYS the romance. I even spoke to a few friends on Twitter and discovered some of their earliest Movie loves were romances too, so I'm not alone! For Liz Fielding it was Cary Grant movies, for Fiona Harper it was Sleeping Beauty, for Biddy Coady it was Bambi. My question for you would be what was YOUR first romance on screen?

If like me you kept focussing on the romances in the story as you got older then the chances are you'd enjoy the little romance books we all love so much, even if you haven't tried one yet. But if you're someone who claims they don't enjoy or watch romance and would never be seen dead with a book that focusses on that very thing? Well, I'd say this: Take a good close look at what you're watching. Because if the romance in the movie is adding something special to it for you, you're more of a romance fan than you might think you are...

for me. I'm open to suggest viewing wise this weekend. Got a movie or TV show I might have missed the romance in? Action, adventure, thriller, family movie, cartoon - I'm open to suggestion here (so long as it's not a horror Movie). And did I mention I bought new shelves for my DVD collection? There's SPACE now. And with your help I could fill it.

Trish has two books on the shelf this month, and if you hurry you can catch them before they disappear to make way for August's goodies! For the romance line you can find His L.A. Cinderella, and in a Mills & Boon special release you can find all three Irish Mills & Boon Authors; Lynne Graham, Trish Wylie and Abby Green, under the one cover for the very first time in His Irish Bride.

To find out more about Trish and her books you can visit her Website or her Blog or follow her on Twitter.


  1. My goodness! You don't remember Maddy swinging at David and him grabbing her arm and then the furniture going everywhere and ... and ... and... Them waking up next to each other. Perfect. Sigh. That scene just stuck in my head and when I wrote Book # 2, Point of Pride, husband and wife toe to toe, fighting each other, fighting themselves, guess where my inspiration came from. Just watch out for the chocolate biscuit...

    Great post, Trish. Thanks for the memories.

  2. My all time favorite is The Philadelphia Story. The opening scene where Katherine Hepburn is carrying Cary Grant's stuff out to the car, and drops it just before she gets there, followed by the excellent forehead shove... its great, and her transformation from superior goddess to woman, perfect romance.
    Great post, Trish!

  3. Ah Trish, you always get right to the heart of the matter...

    Now, I'm going to prefix my first movie love so you don't all think I'm a hundred years old. Where I grew up in Notting Hill Gate they had a cinema called The Coronet (which still exists!!) and every year they used to do a week long showing of Gone with the Wind. And every year my mum used to drag me and my sister and brother to see it.

    And somewhere around the time I was nine or ten I stopped being bored rigid and suddenly noticed how masterful and exciting Clark Gable looked dressed in his black suit and white shirt as he waltzed Vivien Leigh round in his arms at that church social... And then I just had to read the book... And well, frankly my dear, that was that.. Another hopeless romantic was born. Thanks mum!