Beware: Plot spoiler!
I had a chance to see a film the other night that dealt with living and loving — Hampton/Manhattan-style. If you’ve read my book, Grant Me a Higher Love, you know that Rung Three on The Ladder of Love deals with Interchangeable Love or what I call, “The Donald Trump Syndrome.” It’s a very superficial, narcissistic rung of love, where any physically attractive person and/or outwardly successful person is interchangeable with another. The film I saw was: Something’s Gotta Give starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. The lead characters in this movie are all commitment-phobics.
Harry Sanborn is a successful music producer who has a 40 year history of dating women under 30. Erica Barry is a Broadway playwright who turned gun shy about love and writing, after her twenty year marriage fell apart.
Harry’s wake-up call comes first in a negative form — a heart attack. This heart attack leads him to have to stay with Erica in her beautiful, oceanfront home in the Hamptons.
Harry’s second wake-up call comes in a positive way and this positive wake-up call is: love. After only one night with her, he even says the S word — Soul Mate.
However, when he returns to Manhattan a week later, he forgets his two wake-up calls and goes back to his old behavior of dating younger women.
When Erica runs into him in a restaurant, she is devastated to see him dining with a beautiful, thirty-something woman. To ease the pain, she ends her long, writing dry spell and manages to write a Broadway smash hit about their short-lived, heartbreaking love affair.
Because Erica is only responsible for her behavior, she is granted another Soul Mate almost immediately, ironically enough, a young, handsome doctor who just happens to be twenty-something years younger than her!
Harry gets his third wake-up call only after Erica has the courage to take two feet out of the relationship, and not settle for being one of many of Harry’s conquests. She has no contact with him for six months. During this time, Harry revisits the ghosts of girlfriends’ past and is deeply haunted by what he sees and then realizes the errors of his ways.
He then returns to Erica a changed man. The young, hottie doctor (as played by Keanu Reeves), sees that Erica still loves Harry, and lets her go — without drama and without trauma.
The message is this: Love can’t grow with one foot in the relationship and one foot out the door. Either stick two feet in and see what happens or have the courage to take both feet out. Say the prayer, “I pray for a Soul Mate who is ready, willing, and able to love and commit to me, and I pray to be a Soul Mate who is ready, willing, and able to love and commit back.” Then leave it in the hands of the universe.
With that kind of brave behavior, something’s gotta give!