And speaking of strong female characters… These two films figured prominently in the week when I met the woman who is now my wife:
As Good As It Gets (1997)
I’ll explain after the trailers.
In December of 1997, DeeAnn—who was living near Chicago at the time—flew out to the Bay Area to visit her best friend from high school, Karin, who (with her husband Bryan) happened to be my next-door apartment neighbor at the time. We actually met at another movie, the Stanford Theatre‘s annual Christmas Eve screening of It’s a Wonderful Life (the viewing of which has become a holiday tradition for us).
I hadn’t seen Titanic at that time, but DeeAnn was talking about it when she first arrived. So I went to see a matinee (I was working for AT&T at the time, and the company shut down for the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s Day), so I could talk to her about it in detail.
Yeah, that was probably a signal right there.
A few days later, all four of us went to see As Good As It Gets together. It’s a small, quirky movie, but makes good use of its unsympathetic comedy protagonist (played by Jack Nicholson) to push all the characters into unexpected situations and relationships which blossom into real human concerns. Okay, that flowery description might oversell it, but it’s good beyond my own personal history. And yes, that is Julie Benz as the hapless receptionist in the trailer.
One of the other movies we watched that week was Sophie’s Choice. I don’t remember why. Does seem kinda weird in retrospect. Anyway.
DeeAnn moved to the Bay Area in 1998. We moved in together in 2000 and got married in 2005. This winter, we’ll have been together for eighteen years. I look forward to growing old with her—like, at least as old as that Titanic lady—with more movies, more anniversaries, and more happy memories every year.