Cinerama: I don’t buy kisses anymore

Posted: September 11, 2009 in Cinerama

I don’t buy kisses anymore

By Mike Derderian

As it came, it went away leaving a lot of broken hearts—not to mention a lot of empty pockets. What (or who) am I referring to? Well, its non-other than Mr. Valentine and his sidekick Eros.

Yes, believe it or not they are both in it; that is the crime of spreading the love we so much lack in the world in the form of red rose bouquets and heart shaped candy boxes to impress our loved ones.

Now Eros is a mischievous “god”, some people say that he is the mastermind behind the whole love thing and that Valentine is just a front man. Trapped in a baby torso, dressed in a white diaper and armed to the teeth with a lethal bow and arrow he is bound to get you. So beware my dear readers of the sweet sting of love.

Listening to Francis Lai’s musical theme from the ‘70s film “Love Story,” you’ll understand why the most celebrated human trait in the world happens to be the feeling of love and being loved. A trait that is also demonstrated in “I don’t buy kisses anymore.”

Why I choose this 1992 film to be the topic of this week’s column instead of more popular films—like “A Bed of Roses,” “Only You” and “Titanic”—is because I stopped buying kisses two years ago.

Have I crossed the line with this outrageous statement, do you think that it is too rude for one to state the obvious behind this symbolic phrase and title of a film? I’ll leave that for you to find at the end.

Directed by Robert Marcarelli this romantic comedy stars Jason Alexander, Nia Peeples and a cast of funny actors I won’t mention for a technical reason that is related to love and the nature of it’s existence.

Alexander, whom you might recognize as the itchy twitchy George in the 1990 hit comedy series Seinfeld, plays the role of Bernie Fishbine an overweight bachelor with a very low self-esteem.

Thanks to all the senseless hype surrounding having a well-built healthy figure that will attract the so-called “mate of a lifetime,” Bernie (Alexander) thinks of himself as anything than the perfect man a woman might be dreaming off.

In a way this is where the cruelty of the world lies, in judging people according to their appearances and not their content. So what if I don’t have a perfect hairstyle or hair at all, what if I have a belly in the works as a result off my excessive unorganized eating habits?

In order to find the hidden and unseen lovable true essence of a man, one should look beyond the physical and search for the soul, and the best way to do that is to take the trouble of knowing that being.

A paradox in itself, I’ll have to agree with you for appearances are the basis of one the most common love conditions known as love of first sight. However, in this film this is not the case.
For on the opposite end of the line for this love-story-waiting-to-happen, we are introduced to Theresa Garabaldi (Peeples), an attractive Latin girl who meets with Bernie in a candy store that he frequently goes to.

No stormy love affair or a violent chemical reaction, not even a heart beat at the beginning of their encounter, so what’s the story? In a way this film is about the phases a true love relationship should go through so it would bloom into maturity, not your usual Romeo and Juliet script.

Starting out as a study, Theresa decides to use Bernie, the perfect human guinea pig to prove a theory she made up about love, the rest I’ll have to leave for your imagination.

Another aspect the film discusses, is how two different people of two different cultures eventually end up falling in love with each other, which is also a reality nowadays fought for in the name of love. I see butterflies, don’t you?

Not being a masterpiece with special effects equal to a love epic like Titanic, this film will offer you a more modest image of how love should be. In way, if you are willing to spend three hours and fourteen minuets watching a ship sinking you’ll survive through this film.

Chocolate kisses in the form of tears and Bernie’s final words as the film comes to an end will give you a clue why I stopped buying kisses; so go ahead and rent the movie.

As for love and why we fall in love, I hope you find some comfort and answers regarding it’s purpose in these four stanzas taken from a poem entitled “An Epitaph: Upon a young married couple, Dead and buried together,” written by Richard Crashaw.

For though the hand of fate could force/ ’Twixt Soul & Body a Divorce, /It could not sunder man & Wife, /Cause They Both lived but one life.

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