The Spy Who Loved Me

With these two on screen, sparks and intrigue undeniably fly. (Credit: the Everett Collection)

One of my favorite movies is Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious” about a woman who is recruited by the U.S. government to infiltrate a ring of Nazi sympathizers in South America after the war. But it is also a twisty love story between the broken yet alluring Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) and her dark, cool handler Devlin (Cary Grant). It’s the chemistry between the two leads that ignites the sparks that fly with the suspense exponentially. Without it, there would be no incident in the wine cellar or the impetus to dispose of another victim of a fringe remnant of the Third Reich.
Interestingly enough, I waxed poetic about another movie here.  “The Lake House” alluded to “Notorious” in its own narrative—a movie within a movie—to draw a comparison of two people who come together not only due to physical attraction, but also the gravitational pull toward one another as equals. It’s this force that drives romances and jumpstarts relationships. But it’s not the only thing to hang their hats.
I’ve said before, I’ve learned love has to insinuate itself into a relationship, or else it is a nonstarter. I’m probably not the poster girl for such a sentiment or truism, but I am moving toward it. For any relationship to exist, as a famous Beatle is quoted many times, love is the answer.

She Kicks Butt

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My One and Only Alias: No problem too immense or obstacle too insurmountable.

I rocked out Sydney Bristow again this Halloween, perhaps my final appearance ever as the super-duper CIA operative who was brought to the small screen by the now-famous Jennifer Garner in the top show “Alias.”

Just like so many things in life, I learn vicariously through fictional characters.  It’s fun and in some ways safe, avoiding undesirable feelings that may throw a curve that I wouldn’t be able to handle.  But more often than not these past few years, I’ve had to deal with some unexpected and at times aggravating things, which are really par for the course.  Thanks to lessons learned, experience, family support, sound spiritual counseling and sheer  imagination, I was able to shirk them aside and move forward.

I still find myself channeling my inner Sydney Bristow, although “Alias” (which also starred little known at the time Bradley Cooper) has long ended,  when I require a big push out of a problem or a weird funk.  It is as if to say if I must confront some inconvenient truths, then she couldn’t have come at a more opportune hour.

Monuments Men

Two of My Favorite Guys: Bill and Charlie

Two of My Favorite Guys: Bill and Charlie

I seem to reference funny men in my blog, but one in particular holds a rather special place in my heart.  Who would’ve thought I would be saying this about the man who was Dr.  Peter Venkman in “Ghostbusters,”  Tripper in “Meatballs” or John Winger in “Stripes,” but it makes perfect ironic sense.

It wasn’t, however, when actor Bill Murray played Bob Harris in Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation,” which would become one of my all-time favorite films, that he gained a foothold in my consciousness.  “Mr. Harris,” as my friend Salli and I would simply call him, is the older, well-intentioned man who, I believe, teaches young-ish, smart adult women what love is and, most importantly, the twists and turns we should expect from life.  It’s okay not to know everything and especially to stand in one’s own truth, particularly in a relationship.

But Mr. Murray, not only Mr. Harris, is mindful of these things, among others, as he framed them in an hour-long chat with supreme interviewer Charlie Rose.  While it’s said a woman’s first male role model is typically her father, my penchant for men of a certain age is more indicative of how I learned to accept that daddy sometimes does know best.  He has my own interests at heart, despite intuiting it in ways I didn’t completely understand at the time.