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"Chloe Harris" really is the pseudonym for two writers, Noelle and Barbra, who've joined forces to write intriguing and sexy stories. A quintessential eccentric southerner, Noelle seems to find a story in almost everything. Ever ambitious to change her stars, she has a degree in Communications. Barbra lives together with her cat ('Princess Mimi'), who isn't very happy that she is spending so much time on writing. But this folly of the living can opener with opposable thumbs is mostly tolerated.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Epic Love - An Officer and A Gentleman.

Is it epic love? There are no sweeping African vistas and men that track lions or spectacular waterfalls and the enemy at your heels. But it does have two people at epic junctures in their lives and the timeless epic struggle to find one's self.

Part Bad Boy part Prodigal Son and most defiantly a Charmer, Zack Mayo is a hero that's hard to forget. And whether you see Paula as a Trickster or the Lost One, this pair seems made for each other.

Did you not just fall in love the moment you saw him as a young boy on the streets of the Philippines? I did. But then I'm a sucker for a hero shaped by a tough childhood. In high school I dated a guy with that M.O. "poor motherless boy" everyone he dated wanted to be the one to fill that empty space in his soul. Zack has that same effect. Not to mention Richard Gere is so damned hot it's crazy. If you don't believe me watch the classic American Gigolo or Breathless.

Paula Pokrifki is a different story. She's a bit schemer. But can you blame her. It's a hard life she's been born into with little chance to change her stars. But in a way I see her as the best friend, going along more in support of her friend Lynette and without the desperation her pal feels. She's also a bit of a plain Jane, but aren't most of us? And isn't it great that Zack sees something special in her? While in turn she believes in him, something very few people have done.

But there are problems of course. And the biggest obstacle is the hero. Zack Mayo can truly be his own worse enemy. As much as he cares for Paula he pushes her away. But everyone knows you can't really love someone else until you love yourself.

Enter the Pseudo father figure of Sergeant Emil Foley, who if not the true hero of the story, is the hero for our hero. Foley breaks Zack down to his core, to the place where he can find his true self. This allows the hero to be the hero, to excel to his potential and be open to the love that's right in front of him.

Is it Epic Love? I think so because it's themes of finding one's true self and love along with it are certainly epic.


Anonymous said...

Great post, Noelle! An Officer and Gentleman has been one of my favorite movies for quite some time. I guess it shaped me more than I was aware of. As a teenager I dreamed of an officer and gentleman sweeping me off my feet! *lol*

I've never realized it before but the way you analyzed the H/H, immediately some other H/H come to mind! You know which chars I'm talking about, don't you?

Noelle said...

LOL Be careful what you wish for. :)

No who? ;)

Anonymous said...

*sniff* I know. But today I'm quite realistic, not to say pragmatic about that "officer and gentleman" thing. It's either one or the other - at least that's what experience has taught me.

Your "[he]can truly be his own worse enemy" and "little chance to change her stars" gave them away...

Samantha Kane said...

I like this movie, but I don't love it. And the reason for that isn't the h/h, but the best friend's suicide, which I found so disturbing and pointless.

But back to Zack, I think this character has a fabulous arc throughout the story, and I would argue that the love story here is threefold: between Zack and Sgt. Foley, between Zack and Paula, and between Zack and himself. As you said, you can't love someone else until you love yourself. I thought Paula's arc very pale in comparison.

I'm not sure this is epic. In my book I'd say this was more a fairy tale, with a definite moral at the end (they all have that, I suppose.)

Noelle said...

Great points Sam!

I completed agree about the threefold love story and I didn't see why the suicide had to be there.

And maybe it's an epic tale of one man but not an epic love story. The love story could be seen and the B storyline.

Anyone have suggestions on the next Epic Love story (Book, movie or truth)?

Noelle said...

Sorry about the grammar issues trying to post and work at the same time.