This question lingers
throughout the rest of the movie. Why are they divorcing?
I love a great romance.
Something that stirs my heart and makes me believe anew in true love.
And what’s not to love about Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson?
Any movie that takes place in
the Caribbean is a winner for me. Add to that a buried treasure and an
adventure . . . I thought I’d love their newest romantic comedy, Fool’s
Admittedly, the shallow part of
me did. But the part that longed for a true romance . . . well, I
walked out empty-hearted. It had the right ingredients:– cute couple,
adventure, locale, even a sound subplot. What was it missing?
I call it The Key. It’s the
moment/situation/reality in the movie that unlocks the characters’ true
feelings and opens the treasure they’ve really been hunting for:
intimacy; the realization that they belong together. Why do we love
romances like Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping,
or even Return to Me? It’s because in these movies,
the couple uses the key and to unlock their hearts. They confess the
truth of their failings and their deep need for each other. (Remember
the line in Return to Me: “I’ll always miss
Elizabeth, but I ache for Grace.” Oh!)
Let’s return to Fool’s
We know Finn loves Tess, after
all, he grabs her picture—and only her picture— from his sinking boat.
And Tess loves Finn, evidenced by the mascara dropping in the sink in
her first scene. But it’s not long after that we discover they have
problems. Tess believes he is completely irresponsible and even
uncaring about their relationship. After all, he can’t even bother to
show up for their divorce on time.
However, he is racing to stop
it. “This is a big mistake!” he says after bursting into the judge’s
chambers. “This woman and I still love each other.”
But it’s too late. They’re
already divorced. Finn, in desperation, turns to her and asks, “Why?”
This question lingers throughout
the rest of the movie. Why are they divorcing? But a great romance
needs to start at the beginning. Why do they belong together?
Sure, they’re both treasure
hunters, both driven by the mystery, by the magic of adventure;
however, clearly they are different people. She is smart, ambitious,
responsible; he’s a mess and a lying scoundrel, albeit driven and
One she can’t seem to eject him
from her life.
He appears on the boat she’s
working on, and soon he’s cajoled the owner (and her) into racing after
the one thing that binds them together: a buried treasure.
The movie makes a valiant
attempt to subtext the metaphor treasure with their happily ever after.
“Aurelia’s [the treasure] right around the corner. And she’s all ours,”
We hope so, but instead of
diving deep into their issues, or even realizing why these two love
each other, the story keeps us at surface level. Finn and Tess unlock
the clues together, even share a moment of passion, but still, what
went wrong? Why should they give their marriage another chance?
Fast forward to the end when
they’ve nearly lost their lives and they’re in an airplane about to
crash. He says, “This next part, I’m not exactly sure how to pull off.”
Of course, he’s talking about landing. But he could just as well be
talking about their future.
“Are we going to die?” she
“No. No, we’re not.”
So, suddenly they’ve bridged
their gap and are on the home run toward the happily ever after.
Except, what happened to the middle? They key moment when they realize
that something has changed? Is finding the treasure all they need to
find happily ever after?
Apparently yes, because when
they surface, the first thing out of Finn’s mouth is, “I’m sorry. I
love you. I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes. Marry me.”
“No, you haven’t,” she says.
And follows up with, “And, yes, I will.”
Okay, we can buy that excitement
of finding the treasure has reminded her of why she was first drawn to
him. And, of course, without the financial woes between them, life will
certainly be easier.
But what about that deeper
treasure? The value of each other that they’ve found during their
What need do they fulfill in
each other’s life? Passion? Adventure?
“Why?” Finn asked when his wife
“Why?” we ask as we watch them
get back together.
Because although it’s a fun
romp with beautiful people, their issues are still so glaring we know
it can’t last. Will he still be a scoundrel? Probably. Will she still
get fed up with him? No doubt. Will they continue to require dangerous
adventures to keep them together? Most likely. They haven’t really
found the true value of their relationship; they’ve only discovered
It’s all about the why. Why do
they belong together? Why can’t they live without each other? Why is
the happily ever after worth the risk? Ask your hero and heroine why,
and you’ll discover The Key to unlocking the real treasure of a great