Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Pearl Harbor Effect

To my everlasting regret, I recently got talked into watching the movie Pearl Harbor. Amidst the terrible acting and ridiculous dialog, I also had to deal with a love triangle. Now, I’ve never been the biggest fan of love triangles (and what little love I had for them Nicholas Sparks shot dead), but these love stories set against a war backdrop have become painfully  repetitive. Their plotlines are so formulaic you can practically map them out unseen. 

To break it down, man falls for woman, war breaks out, man goes off to war and goes missing –
presumed dead. His best friend/brother comes home to comfort girlfriend. Friend and girlfriend fall in love. Man discovered alive and returns home, only to find his best friend shacked up with his girlfriend. Drama, drama, drama.

I’m not saying all love triangles, or even all war-themed love triangles, are bad. The English Patient, Doctor Zhivago and Casablanca pulled it off with relative success. But just once it would be nice if the presumed dead first love would just kick it during the war. Or better yet, kill off the hussy who didn’t bother to make sure that the love of her life wasn’t really alive and in a coma somewhere. So please writers, for the love of god – come up with a new plot. 


  1. So I suppose you were dreadfully disapointed when I told you that Shawn and Essie might possibly get involved in a love triangle?( ; For the record, I didn't plan on doing it. But you know how sometimes you're writing and your characters just take on a mind of their own?

    Yeah. It happened to me.

    Who's the writer here, anyway? Me or my characters?!

  2. No, I honestly don't hate ALL love triangles. I mean, Austen is full of them and she's a literary master (plus, I love her). But I HATE them in war movies and novels. It's trite, and overdone, and just flat out annoys me!

    And I really get what you mean - sometimes characters just don't do what you intend them to do. They've got a serious mind of their own!