Tonight I watched "Save The Last Dance", and couldn't help but remembering how much I have always loved this movie. Not just because of the obvious ... it's more than the love story that attracts me, although I do love the courage of the actors and all the people involved who were willing to take such a risk in working a mixed-race love story. Addressing the mixed-race concept is actually one of the things that I have loved most about this movie ... I have always been color-blind and have myself been involved in mixed-race relationships of different kinds. I don't see the problem ... aren't we all just people?
But like I said, that's not all. I love the character development in the story, I love the more subtle concepts in the movie of determination and loyalty, ambition and the concept of "coming-of-age". The story centers around a girl (Julia Stiles plays "Sarah") who was raised by her mother. She is a ballerina and all at once she loses everything she holds dear. Her mother is killed in a car accident on the way to Sarah's Julliard audition ... And because Sarah is stressed about her mother not showing up as planned, she blows the audition. She ends up being sent to live with her father who she doesn't know well, in what seems to her to be a whole new world. She lives with her father in a neighborhood that is run down and old, beaten and battered ... she lives in a predominantly black neighborhood full of people who feel stuck in the world of gangs and drive-by's, a world where she is forced to pay a price for prejudices that are not hers. Somehow she finds her way and ends up fitting into this new world pretty seamlessly ... she finds herself a guy who teaches her things about dance that she had never thought of, who introduces the ballerina to a hip-hop world that is nothing like she has ever seen before.
He introduces her to a whole new style, a whole new personality ... and through her interactions with him, she grows amazingly and truly finds herself, her own personality, no matter where she is.
And that's without straying too far into the "taboo" territory where there is a subtle sensuality throughout much of the movie that only makes me miss my Private Ryan so much more. Each kiss or touch evokes memories in me of times I have shared with my soldier long before he was a soldier.
And last? Why is it that when he was here, intimate time was taken for granted, always available, and never really necessary? But now that he's gone ... each time I see a couple share a kiss or a knowing glance that is full of heat and silent conversation, I miss him more. The other day I saw a guy in ACU's getting into his car with his family ( I assume ... it was him, a woman, and two kids) ... and I felt a very real ache for his presence. Not necessarily for physical intimacy which I am beginning to think of MUCH more often than before ... but simply for the idea that he is with me, that we are together in the same place and that I can reach out and feel his fingers interlace with mine, that I can touch the stubble on his jaw, feel the strength in his arms around me.
As tall as he is and as short as I am, we aren't really suited as hip hop partners ... But there are other ways to work two bodies, and I sure miss a certain kind of dancing lately.