Wednesday, December 02, 2015

una pregunta

I have a question.

In the 1970 film "Love Story," there's a quotable (and much-misused, much-parodied) line: "Love means never having to say you're sorry."

I'm just wondering... what the fuck does that even mean?

Does it mean that being in love gives you a free pass to do anything you want with impunity, never apologizing for your mistakes, or for the way you've hurt people? Or is it the flip side, i.e., never having to apologize means your partner is always going to forgive you, so you can rest assured that no apologies are necessary? If the latter, then the question becomes: is it possible to be in a relationship where two people literally never apologize to each other because that's how deep their love is? It seems to me that, in any normal loving relationship, there will inevitably be moments when an apology is called for.

Someone please help me décortiquer this expression. This spliced-together clip from the movie isn't very helpful in providing discursive context.



John (I'm not a robot) said...

I'm no expert, but I've got some history with women. I'd say "love means ALWAYS having to say you're sorry". Whether you mean it or not.

The women I've known have all been pretty forgiving, provided you were willing to grovel and beg for it. I guess it's a power thing.

I remember the movie (sat through it once at theater all those years ago), but I guess the context for the quote is that some things go without saying. "Honey, I've got an incurable disease" doesn't warrant an I'm sorry. Maybe an "you're fucking kidding me, right?" is more appropriate.

Bratfink said...

I kind of agree with John, as to the final conclusion, anyway.

Charles said...

I'm with John on this. HJ has often said that my willingness to admit when I am wrong and apologize is one important thing that has made our relationship stronger.

"Love Story," as I'm sure you know, is very popular in Korea, probably because it is mawkish and sentimental to the point of nausea. I've always hated it, and I've always hated that line. To be brutally honest, it is spoken by a young girl who doesn't have enough experience in life to understand what love truly is. Her idea of love is a heavily romanticized one and nowhere near the everyday reality of being in an actual relationship.

I remember the context a little differently than John, but I could be wrong. If I remember correctly, Oliver finds out that Jenny is terminally ill before she does. And that the doctor advises Oliver not to tell Jenny that she's dying (she finds out anyway). That is what happens, right? As the kids say these days: Dafuq?

Anyway, it's a stupid line, and any attempt to unpack the phrase can only lead to insanity.

Kevin Kim said...

John and Ruth,



I consider myself duly warned.