There's something about a couple good movie romances that can make us look at our own dating or married life just a little bit differently. Here is a list of romance movies that we love, and what we can take away from each.
In this Hollywood world where movie romances show women in their 20s are shown married to guys in their 50s, and women in their 50s are usually cast as the grandma, Meryl Streep remains the standout who not only gets great parts, she's cast as the romantic lead with men younger than her.
That alone should inspire any midlife woman.
In It's Complicated, Meryl Streep is recently divorced from Alec Baldwin, but he's changing his mind. Of course, a great gal like Streep (who owns a bakery and is independent and smart) isn't going to just go running back to her ex. She meets Steve Martin and that's where things get "complicated."
The lesson in this movie is to remember your strengths and talents when you get divorced. It's too easy to feel lousy, and like you're never going to find happiness again. You will. But you have to believe it first before it can happen.
Something's Gotta Give
Nancy Meyers, who directed It's Complicated, also directs Something's Gotta Give. Maybe that's why I enjoyed both these movies so much. Both of them show the value in women as they get older.
This flick has Jack Nicholson as the bad boy boyfriend dating the daughter of Diane Keeton. Of course, there's something about Keeton that he can't resist. He doesn't want to fall in love with her, but he does, even after she writes an unflattering Broadway play about him.
While Jack is deciding if he's really in love, Keeton is off to Paris, no less, with a Keanu Reeves celebrating her birthday. Because when love does you wrong, there's nothing like a younger guy in the City of Lights.
Lesson here? If Keeton was sitting at home waiting for Jack, she'd still be waiting.
Diane Lane is happily married to Richard Gere in Unfaithful, but when she falls down running in the street Olivier Martinez helps her up, and offers her a cup of coffee. She goes inside and their affair begins.
In the scene that shows her heading home afterwards on the train, Lane is filled with a mix of emotions: excitement, regret, fear, shame, and the ups and downs she feels are a beautiful foretelling of what's to come. She's happy now, but it's about to get ugly.
This movie reminds us that there is never a winner with infidelity. Lane had a happy life with Gere, but threw it all away for a temporary thrill.
The 40-Year Old Virgin
While 40 isn't quite midlife yet, there are some good lessons here to take away. Steve Carrell is 40 and hasn't "done it" yet. But like many people who have a few rough starts to love, he basically gives up. He a nice looking guy, but he's a geek who paints miniatures so he thinks that's all his life can be.
His friends in their well-meaning way try to change him. They do give him confidence so he can meet a woman, but it's only when he figures out who he really is that he can have a real relationship.
The moral of this story is that it's never too late. No matter what you think you're "too old" to do, you're not.
- Where to Meet Other Midlife Singles
- Totally Free Dating Sites: Worth a Try?
- Dating in Midlife: Do You Need a Dating Coach?