Monday, July 4, 2011

Scarlett Johansson Indulges Animal Instincts

Spanish perversions and a major Woody dominated our last two posts, but imagine getting both from one film. Yes, we can! In Vicky Cristina Barcelona, the luscious Scarlett Johansson travels to Spain and opts for burning passionate love over secure committed love. Companion-to-drool-for Rebecca Hall advocates a safe approach but can't stop her friend from jumping into a three-way with pseudo-poetic caveman Javier Bardem and his fiery pistol-waving ex Penelope Cruz. Director Woody Allen amuses and seduces with flamenco guitar, rustic architecture, sensual food and a crazy little thing called love.

Traveling around the world, I've heard some interesting perspectives on romance. In Asia, people often query Americans, "Do you have a love marriage?" They ask this not with envy or criticism but with fascination at a curious new concept. Most of them believe when your parents pick your partner it's based on a more rational foundation like common culture or financial stability. They see those who follow their feelings as rolling the dice Vegas style, a dangerous but exciting idea.

In Latin America, people often view the United States thru "romantic" movies, which they don't find romantic at all. Though Julia Roberts or Jennifer Aniston may be shopping for the right guy, the wisdom of self-protection and the ideal of self-sufficiency never let them fall into a drug-like state of "this is the only person in the world, so let's throw all caution and reason to the wind then get lost in the primal land of scents, tastes, breasts and muscles."

Like many Americans, I fall somewhere between these extremes, but I'm happy to have learned much about life from both. Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a witty road-trip thru these divergent emotional landscapes. So, is love a dish best served steaming hot? (And how far did Johansson and Obama follow their passions?) If one makes a wise decision about the type of character to fall in love with, one can somewhat-safely plunge into primal hormonal bliss. Yet, if one begins with romantic folly: "I know he beat his ex, but he's cute and might change," all goes downward from there. Animal instincts are fabulous, if you pick the right animal.


  1. Loved this post, especially last line, "Animal instincts are fabulous, if you pick the right animal." Agree 100%! :)

    Komz@The Review Girl

  2. Thanks for the comments. An interesting note: a reader of Sacred Ground & Holy Water has a site that offers both "arranged" and "love" marriages at