Fresh off of a beautiful wedding, I felt inspired to write a love themed post. Love is one of life’s most spectacular gifts and words are just one of the many ways we can manifest that love. We see it in music lyrics, poetry, literature and of course, film. Love often can’t be contained by words which is why I love the idea of using unique phrases to express it. It’s almost like we’ve been let in on a secret between the two on-screen lovers. Here are some of the greatest ways that Hollywood says, “I love you” without actually using those three little words.
1. “As you wish” —The Princess Bride
The Gold standard. Wesley coins this phrase as Buttercup’s farm boy as a way to express his love for her when she orders him around. Don’t all great romances begin with women tormenting the men they love? It are these words that bring her to realize later in the movie that the feared Dread Pirate Roberts is really her true love (because we totally couldn’t tell it was him behind that strip of black fabric). Their love is so innocent and pure and we will always root for them.
2. “You make me want to be a better man” —As Good As It Gets
There is something about a bad guy reformed by a good woman that makes me go to mush and Jack is the perpetual hound dog. When his OCD-plagued character is inspired by Helen Hunt’s no nonsense kindness, we can’t help but be softened by his evolution. Their romance doesn’t make sense and it defies any sort of convention but it’s the perfect example of the transformative power of love. Melvin gives us glimpses of decency along the way but always reverts back to his selfish ways. It isn’t until he speaks these words that we are fully convinced as an audience that he will continue to strive to be the man that Carol deserves. And don’t we all have room for improvement? We should all be so lucky to have someone in our lives that motivates us to be the best possible version of ourself. We are all just works in progress after all.
3. “I know” —Star Wars
After sharing a passionate kiss, Leia proclaims her love for Han Solo before he is frozen in carbonite. The generic response would have been an “I love you too” but that’s not Han’s style. Instead he retorts, “I know” in perfect Han Solo fashion…cool but still heartfelt. This response was improvised by Harrison Ford on set and everyone knew it was the perfect fit for Leia and Han’s dynamic. I just love them and their combative flirtations, there’s no way that things are boring in the bedroom with these two.
4. “Here’s looking at you kid”—Casablanca
I just can’t with Humphrey. Why can’t she stay with him??!! Just kidding, I know it has end that way but it doesn’t make it any less heart wrenching. He has to let her go for her own safety in the precarious circumstances. What is the old saying? If you love something, let it go. He doesn’t want to make a fuss because he doesn’t want to lose his nerve and he has to stay strong for the both of them. He keeps it short and sweet and ends with these simple but endearing words. I don’t think the line would have had half of its effect without Bogart’s charismatic delivery.
5. “I’ll never let go” —Titanic
Except for when she does let go and he dies. Ha, no but we all know that Rose means she’ll never let go of him in her heart. Even though she DOES let go of the necklace aka the “heart of the ocean” which is infuriating. (She could have at LEAST sold it and donated the money to a good cause). And before you go into a tirade about how Jack could have fit on the door too…he couldn’t have…I watched a Mythbusters episode about it. So there. But for real I saw Titanic in the theaters 4 times and even though I cry harder at other scenes, this one will always produce a tear or two as well. Due greatly in part to James Horner’s haunting movie score. RIP, Mr. Horner.
6. “You complete me” —Jerry Maguire
The buildup to this line is when Jerry is reveling in his moment of glory but then realizes that the one person he wants to share it with isn’t by his side. And isn’t that a huge part of what love is about? Having someone to share in your victories and failures? I think so. We all have to relish in life happy moments, because as we all know, we live in a cynical, cynical world. (I had to). My favorite part about this exchange is that it shows the forgiving nature of women. She didn’t need the whole speech from him, she just needed him to show up for her. Plain and simple.
7. “I wish I knew how to quit you” —Brokeback Mountain
Ugh, gets me every time. You can truly feel Ennis’ torment in this scene and Jack’s frustration with him. Keeping their relationship a secret takes a very real toll on their relationship although it manifests itself in different ways with each of them. As much as they wish they could lead normal lives together, it’s not in the cards for them. It doesn’t make the magnetism that brings them together any less strong, if anything it intensifies it. The passion they feel for each other is so strong it really can’t be explained rationally.
8. “I lurve you”—Annie Hall
This scene might be the quintessential Woody Allen scene. It takes place beneath the Brooklyn Bridge and showcases some of his best witty bumbling. The line “love isn’t strong enough a word” before he begins to make up new words for love is classic. I think many of us have felt love so intensely that we have trouble properly describing it. I call it the blues look bluer and pinks look pinker syndrome because everything around you just seems better somehow when you’re in love.
You knew this one was coming. It kind of speaks for itself…their love is so strong it transcends the earthly realm. And they can convey more sentiment with just one word then with all the love sonnets in all the books. Sometimes simple trumps frills. Cue “Unchained Melody”…
10. “Hondo”—The History of Future Folk
I wanted to include a lesser known title in here. If you haven’t seen The History of Future Folk then drop everything and Netflix it. It’s so funny and heart warming, you guys. It’s described as “the possibly exaggerated origin story of the real life alien bluegrass band, Future Folk, that has been playing for NYC audiences for the better part of a decade”. If that description doesn’t sell you on it or at least intrigue you then get out of here. Hondo is the traditional greeting of Hondonians (a race from outer space) but you will come to see it means much more in the movie. I’ve included my favorite song from the movie below. The other songs in the film are much funnier but seeing as this is a love centered post I thought this was more fitting. Until next time, I love you all. HONDO!