Recent Movies Re-Examine What Loving Someone Actually Means

transcendenceI am not sure if it’s a coincidence or it is a new pattern in cinematography to examine and re-evaluate what love actually means. At least three recent movies made their viewers ask this very question – what does loving someone actually mean?

1. “Her”   

This movie suggests that you can fall in love with the voice without being able to see or touch the other person. In a sense, this movie presents the most pure version of love – you can’t see or touch the other person; you develop attraction based on intellectual level only, except  that the female voice itself has a certain physical/sexual power. In so many ways “Her” suggests that you are particularly susceptible to fall in love with an imaginary lover if  you are lonely and if your social life isn’t very vibrant. It’s ironic that while the main character in the movie communicates with the female through voice and falls in love with her because of what he hears, we – the viewers – hardly get to experience something like this today, in the age of texting and hardly ever hearing voices on the phone.

2. “Face of Love” 

In a way this movie takes the opposite approach to love from “Her”. It appears to suggests that you can fall in love just based on looks, if you have the right emotional context, and if those specific looks have a deeper subjective meaning to you – i.e. the person reminds you of someone else. Many psychoanalysts who claim that we look for our parents’ qualities in our lovers would probably agree that if someone reminds you of someone else you loved before, chances are that you will be inclined to have a great initial interest in that person just based on that resemblance alone.

3. “Transcendence”

This movie approaches love and attachment from a very different angle. It challenges the viewer to think about what would make someone doubt his love, and which qualities are indispensable in the other person in order for you to continue to love them no matter what. And does doubting someone necessarily mean that you would love them less? On a more global level, the movie also challenges us to wonder whether the humanity as a whole is ready to accept a great degree of generosity without feeling threatened by it.

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08/30/2014 1:12 pm

I am surprised I havent heard of the two other movies besides Her. Thanks for am article with an interesting perspective. Many different writers and scholars have been battling with trying to define what love is so its not surprising thay the movie producers ask the same questions on the screen now.