Yin and Yang. Night and Day. Fire and Ice. ‘Opposites attract’ has long been the cornerstone of every romantic comedy. It may or may not result in a happily ever after, but it can ignite passion and chemistry in a relationship.
Take for instance my household, I can read a book a day, life permitting. The last book my husband has read is Tinkle. He’s a gadget freak. I can barely operate the TV remote. I talk nonstop. He grunts in response. His wardrobe is a marvel of structure and organization. If you open mine, you’ll be buried in an avalanche of crumpled clothes. And somehow, don’t ask me how, we’ve stayed together for eight years.
Books and movies mirror life in all its drama. The opposites attract story works because it’s great for laughs and tugs at your heartstrings in equal measure. Some wonderful heartwarming movies based on it are:
‘Nobody puts Baby in the corner.’ A die-hard romantic will appreciate bad boy Johnny Castle’s smooth moves and Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman’s good girl dance toward each other. Played out over one summer, Dirty Dancing is the coming of age story of how demure Baby (Jennifer Grey) comes out of her shell with the help of playboy dance instructor Johnny (Patrick Swayze RIP) and that body lift that redefined romance forever more! It’s all about teenage rebellion, first loves, smoldering glances and how being bad can actually be good for the soul!
Staid and depressed businessman Aditya Kashyap (Shahid Kapoor) abandons his cushy lifestyle and boards a train to nowhere. There he meets child-like, vivacious, and ultimate chatterbox Geet (Kareena Kapoor) who infuses new life into his desires and captures his heart. The only catch? Geet is madly in love with Anshuman and considers herself a ‘one-man woman.’ Will melancholic Aditya find love again, will Geet have to grow up or get to live her fairytale? Imtiaz Ali’s filmmaking at its finest.
This story is so close to any romance writer’s heart. Cynical, hard-boiled Manhattan editor and a much younger, idealistic assistant duke it out over a long weekend and a fake marriage. Because the Canadian editor is about to get deported. Except, the editor is the delicious Sandra Bullock and the assistant is hunky Ryan Reynolds! Aren’t sparks bound to fly?
This is a story of soulmates, childhood sweethearts Melanie and Jake epitomize the saying, ‘Married in haste, repent at leisure.’ When driven Melanie (Reese Witherspoon) runs away from her trailer trash beginnings and reinvents herself as Manhattan’s IT designer, she also snags the attention of Andrew Hennings (Patrick Dempsey), the mayor’s son who is so in love with Melanie, he wants to marry her. The problem is, Melanie already has a husband back home – the surly, brooding, laidback, good for nothing Jake (a sexy Josh Lucas!). Except, he might have a few secrets she isn’t privy to and is the past ever really over for true lovers?
No movie defined rom coms like You’ve Got Mail with Meg Ryan’s independent bookstore owner Kathleen Kelly taking on Tom Hanks’ book chain millionaire Joe Fox, while having an online romance unaware of each other’s identities. It is the ultimate opposites-attract love story with a guaranteed HEA but done so deftly, it holds up after nearly two decades. In fact, Hanks’ Joe Fox utters the phrase, ‘It’s not personal, it’s business’ making it an important part of the 21st century romance zeitgeist!
Do you have to be opposites to be in a successful relationship? I don’t know about that.
But I do know that if you are, you need to embrace those differences, even celebrate them. And if you can do that, then…then you’ll see the rainbows Krish and Max found. And if you’re very lucky, the happily ever after at the end of it.
Read about Maxine and Krish’s love story in Shilpi’s latest book Driven by Desire