Memorable Love Scenes: Titanic

Poster via IMDB.comWe've been talking about memorable love scenes this week. And today I'm taking one that uses the "glossed over" sex scene to perfection. There are times you don't have to show everything (in a movie or in a book) but the scene cna still be sensual and impactful.

This scene stands out in my mind because of the emotion (we know what's about to happen to that ship) and the conflict (Jack and Rose come from different worlds but can't stay away from each other.) In almost all circumstances, there needs to be overlying conflict within your love scenes--why is it so dangerous for these two to be together. (Unless it's the happily ever after scene or a setup scene like the one in Ghost yesterday.)




Here's the scene:


So what are your thoughts on this one? Is it the tension that's been set up (remember the painting scene)? Is it the emotion? Or is the stakes and conflict?

Memorable Love Scenes: Ghost

Poster via IMDB.comThis week we're analyzing memorable love scenes so that we can hopefully write books that have scenes just as memorable. We've talked about setting and having the scene change the character. Today, I'm featuring one that not only has uniqueness going for it with the pottery wheel AND Patrick Swayze (king of the memorable love scene), but is chock full of emotion. 

This scene is actually a bit of the movie's setup or "showing the ordinary world" before the inciting incident, but it also packs a lot of emotion because the moviegoer knows what's going to happen to Patrick. They've seen the preview, they know what the title of the movie is. So this scene taps into that deep emotion of being with the person you love most in the world.




Here's the scene:

So what do you think? Why does this one stand out in so many of our memories?

Memorable Love Scenes: Pretty Woman

Poster via IMDB.comIf you missed it yesterday, this week I'm featuring memorable love scenes so that we can a) enjoy and b) analyze what makes the scene so memorable so that we can translate it into our own writing. Yesterday, we looked at the unique setting factor.

Today, I wanted to feature a scene that has one of the most mundane settings of all--a hotel room--but it still a classic memorable moment. It focuses on the change in the characters. A love scene, whether it's a kiss or a full sex scene, should always change the characters in some way. Otherwise, why are you showing it?

So here's the kissing scene from Pretty Woman:

This scene is definitely smexy--I mean, it's Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, come on now. But the reason it has stuck with so many of us is because of what that kiss represented. Sex wasn't a big deal for Vivian, but a kiss...that was a whole different thing.

So what do you love most about this scene? Why do you think it's so memorable?

Memorable Love Scenes: Risky Business


Movie poster via

This week I'm taking a bit of a break from the normal blogging schedule. I've just wrapped up teaching an online class on writing love scenes. And one of the things I asked students to do was name love scenes from movies or books that stood out in their memory. The point of the exercise was to look at those scenes and see WHY they were memorable. What did the storyteller do to make them so impression-making?

So this week, I'm going to post some of the examples we used so that you can break them down too. (Or if you're not a writer, just sit back and enjoy the smexiness.)

First on the agenda is Risky Business and the smoking hot scene on the train. (This doesn't have nudity but isn't exactly safe for work either.) This is an example of using a unique setting to your advantage.






Hot, right? So why is this scene memorable? Is it simply the location, the chance of someone discovering them? Is it the tension built up before this? Or is it because the moment is tranformative for the characters? Or is it just because it's a young Tom Cruise and Rebecca DeMornay?

Made of Win Monday: Movies That TRULY Make You LOL

We throw around the slang "LOL" a lot these days. If we were using it true to form, half the world would be obnoxiously laughing at any given moment. But, of course, usually when we use it, we're exaggerating. It just means we found something funny, maybe it made us smile. Most of us aren't truly laughing out loud eighty times a day. They may lock us up if that were the case.

So it's always a treat when something really brings forth a good old-fashioned honest laugh. If you laugh so hard, you cry--even better. And one of the best places to get those kinds of real laughs is by going to the movies. Unfortunately, movies can be hit or miss, so finding one that really brings on the funny is always made of win.

This weekend hubs and I saw This Means War and, though I had to suspend disbelief dramatically for some parts, I really ended up enjoying the movie. AND I LOLed more than once. I actually had to use a napkin to blot my eyes because I started to tear up. And it reminded me how long it had been since I'd really laughed in a movie.

So when you find those movies, appreciate them. They're sometimes hard to come by.  Here are some other movies I can remember that made me laugh hard in the theatre.

Nine Months - The first time I saw this, the trip to the hospital and the birth scene sent me into one of those laughing fits where I started to gasp for breath.


40 Year Old Virgin - I still want to yell out "Kelly Clarkson!" at random times because of this movie.


Wayne's World - A classic. I mean, if you didn't laugh the first time you saw the Bohemian Rhapsody scene, you might be dead inside. : )


Bridesmaids - The scene in the bridal shop...come on. That's just pure comic genius there.

The Hangover - Too many scenes to pick just one.

Sixteen Candles - Admittedly, I didn't see this one in the theatre, but it never fails to make me laugh.

So I'm interested to hear, what movies have made you really, truly laugh? Which old ones do you go to when you need a pick-me-up?

5 Reasons Why You Should Give the New Footloose a Shot

Okay, so if you haven't figured it out yet, I am a child of the 80s and hold on dearly to the memories of that simpler, hypercolor t-shirted, hairspray-laden time. So when I hear that they are going to remake a movie that is untouchable in my mind, I have a visceral reaction.

How can you mess with something that achieved perfection during it's own little slice of time? 

How can anyone else play THAT part?

How can someone think they can recapture the magic of that movie?

All these questions went through my head when I first heard they were going to remake Footloose (and don't even get me started about the Dirty Dancing--my favorite movie of all time--remake.) But at the same time, even knowing that I would probably hate it, I felt compelled to see it. I had to know what they did with it, had to know how they tried to recreate something that couldn't be recreated.

So I saw it last night and well...

*ducks head* I kind of really enjoyed it.

I know, I know. I went in there expecting to mock it, but found myself genuinely laughing. I was entertained. And no, the magic of the first one will never be recreated. It's impossible. But I have to say they did a really good job and I have no problem recommending others to go see it.

So, if you're still not convinced, here are my top reasons I think you should give it a shot...

1. They pay homage to the original without being an exact replica.

For instance, the chicken-race with tractors in the original:

In the new one, they have a chicken race and the bad guy rides a tractor for a minute (to give a nod to the original), but then they race with modified school buses instead. 


2. The casting was really great.

Okay, so no one could top Kevin Bacon and Lori Singer, obviously.

But I thought they did a good job casting Julianne Hough (though she wasn't as believable as the good-girl-gone-bad as Lori was) and a great job casting Ren (Kenny Wormald). Also, they did a FABULOUS job casting Willard (Miles Teller). He was spot-on and super funny. (Original on the left, new on the right).



3. They did keep some things exact, which gave me little "aww" sentimental moments. 

For instance, the outfits for the prom:


4. They developed the backstory a bit more, which made the Reverend more of a sympathetic character.


5. Being brought back in time.

Of all the things, I think what I enjoyed most was that sense of being brought back in time. I was too little to see Footloose at the movies when it originally came out, so this felt like a chance to experience a bit of what I missed. Movies were much simpler in the 80s. We've gotten really complicated with plots and special effects and such--which is fine--but sometimes it's nice to just go and simply watch something that is fun, light, and entertaining.


Oh and they even did the freeze frame shot at the end of the last scene, which I haven't seen done in a movie in ages. :) (Couldn't find a pic of the new one, so here's the original last shot.)


So did I convince you? How do you feel about these classic movie remakes? Anyone else seen this one yet?

Life Lessons From Poltergeist

I'm true believer that every good story,whether it be a book, a movie, or a TV show, has a lesson--some nugget of knowledge that can help us get through life better. So I figured I'd start occasionally picking out a story here on the blog and sharing the most important things I learned from it.

And in honor of Halloween approaching, I figured I'd pick one of the formative horror movies of my young years--Poltergeist.

Now pay attention. If you don't heed these life lessons, you could end up sucked into the television. I'm doing you a public service. 


1. Never leave your TV on a white noise/snow channel. This is where the evil lurks.


2. Never trust a clown or have one in your house. (see the movie IT for further confirmation on this lesson.)


3. If your orthodontist tells you to get braces, ask for those invisalign things instead. The metal kind can attack you.


4. No large oaks should be within ten feet of your house because, well, they eat children.

(We actually had one of these trees in our yard when I first saw this movie. It would tap against our windows at night. I think it ate a few neighbors.)


5. If chairs do THIS in your house...Move. The. F*ck. Out. Okay? Let's not negotiate on this one.


6. And for the love of God, DO NOT go into the light. 


Here's the trailer for the movie, which contains one more lesson--if you have to ask the neighbors if they've experienced any disturbances lately, you should have already left town and be staying at a Holiday Inn. 


See, now aren't you glad you read this? You may have been walking down the street today and stumbled into a people-eating oak tree. Your welcome.

So were you a fan of this movie? Did it scare the bejeezus out of you like it did me at the time? What's your favorite 80s horror movie? And did I miss any life lessons from this one?

Sappy Sunday: Sleepless In Seattle

Welcome to Sappy Sunday, where I'm unrepentant in my love for the sappy. Today I'm featuring one of those movies that I can watch over and over again. If I'm flipping channels and this is on, I can't seem to turn away.

And what's so interesting about this romantic comedy is that the hero and the heroine's love story doesn't start until the end of the movie. There's this unwritten rule in romance that the hero and heroine need to meet by chapter one (or the first few minutes of the movie) and this movie breaks that rule in spades. Proof that breaking the rules can work really well when done right.

If you haven't seen this one (how is that possible?), get thee to Netflix--stat!

Some favorite quotes (courtesy of IMDB):

Sam Baldwin: Didn't you see Fatal Attraction? 
Jonah Baldwin: You wouldn't let me! 
Sam Baldwin: Well I saw it and it scared the shit out of me. It scared the shit out of every man in America. 


Annie Reed: Now that was when people KNEW how to be in love. They knew it! Time, distance... nothing could separate them because they knew. It was right. It was real. It was... 
Becky: A movie! That's your problem! You don't want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie. 

*The one above defined me at the time. Guess that's why I decided to write books, lol. 

Dennis Reed: Annie, when you're attracted to someone, it just means that your subconscious is attracted to their subconscious, subconsciously. So what we think of as fate is just two neuroses knowing that they are a perfect match. 


Still of Tom Hanks and Ross Malinger in Sleepless in Seattle

Sam Baldwin: I'll tell you what I'm doing this weekend, I'm getting laid. It's the 1990's and nobody's getting laid. I'm the only man in America who's getting laid this weekend and I haven't been laid that much. Six girls in college, maybe seven. 
[sees Jonah standing in the doorway
Sam Baldwin: How long have you been standing there? 
Jonah Baldwin: Forever. 
Sam Baldwin: What did you just hear me say? 
Jonah Baldwin: Six girls in college, maybe seven. 
Sam Baldwin: Seven... EIGHT! Mary Kelly. 
Jonah Baldwin: [holds Annie's letter] This is the one I like! 


And my favorite scene (sorry for the subtitles at the bottom, couldn't find one without):



Aww, now aren't you all warm and fuzzy? :) Anyone else have an unhealthy affection for this movie?


Netflix: A Scary Accurate Look Inside My Brain

South Park: Bigger, Longer and UncutHalloweenSixteen CandlesSecretaryJFK: Special Edition

For those of you who have followed me for a while on my writing blog (that tab up there that says "For Writers"), you probably know that I didn't start out writing erotic romance. The first book I wrote when I got back into writing was *gasp* a young adult.

I know. I've made quite a jump. And for the record one of my beta readers on that YA did say...this is uh, pretty sexy for YA. Lol. It really wasn't--compared to what I've read in other YA books. But she did get me to thinking. So the next book I wrote was a sexy (though not erotic) adult romance about a rockstar. Really, I just wanted to write about a rockstar. Yum.

Then when I realized I liked writing the steamier stuff, the next idea that came to me begged to be an erotic romance. So I wrote CRASH INTO YOU.

And I love writing erotic romance, so I plan to continue to do that. But my crazy subconscious constantly nudges my brain with ideas that (though always romantic) would crossover into other genres. Like the thought of a romantic horror makes many go WTF, but I'm like--ooh, romantic horror. That sounds fun.

So when I went on my Netflix this morning and looked at the categories it suggests for me based on my tastes, I had to laugh. This is such a good example of why I can't seem to keep my toes dipped in only one pool.

Netflix's Recommendations For Me:

  • Romantic First-Love Comedies
  • Goofy TV Shows from the 1980s
  • Coming of Age Dramas Based on Contemporary Literature
  • Scary Suspenseful College Movies
  • Cult Serial Killer Horror Movies
  • Dark Mysteries About Marriage
  • Inspiring High School Inspirational & Social Documentaries
  • Raunchy Dysfunctional Family TV Comedies
  • Sentimental Sports Movies Based on Real Life
  • Critically Acclaimed Suspenseful Psychological Movies
  • Steamy Dramas
  • Controversial Biographical Fight the System Movies


*contemplates* So I'm a hopeless romantic and a tree-hugging liberal who likes to laugh at dysfuctional families and who enjoys seeing people run from deranged killers while occasionally taking in a football game. Yeah, this explains so much. 

Say a prayer for my husband (and agent). ;)

So if you have Netflix, what does yours recommend for you? Do you have trouble sticking to one genre for writing? Do you try to stay in a single genre or do you just follow your story ideas?

The Movie That Made Me a Romance Writer

If not for this movie, I would not have grown up to be a romance writer. Seriously. Dirty Dancing laid the foundation for my hopeless romantic self. I was eight when it came out, but I probably didn't see it until it was on video. (And let's not talk about the inappropriateness of a nine year old watching this. I didn't "get" the adult themes. I just got the luuurve and the dancing.)

So while I'm in revision hell today, you can enjoy my favorite love scene ever...


Grr, it won't let me embed it. *sigh* It's been one of those days. Click here to see the scene in all its glory.

What's your favorite movie love scene?  Hmm, maybe I can make this a regular feature and put up some ones you recommend. :)