The other night I watched the PBS special of Barbra Streisand performing to a small audience at the Village Vanguard, “One Night Only,” recorded in 2009. Never having been a huge Barbra fan, I was surprised at how moving the show was. Just Barbra and a jazz quintet, with a room of adoring fans (including President Clinton and Sarah Jessica Parker), and her best songs–and a flood of memories.
As a kid, I saw “The Way We Were” and had a good cry. Whatever happened to romantic tearjerkers, even stupid ones? Hearing that song transported me to a time when I believed lost love was tragic and hoped it would never happen to me. Robert Redford in his golden youth–what could be better?
Women and girls back then were struggling to create more opportunities for themselves. Remember the Equal Rights Amendment? How about “equal pay for equal work”? When was the last time you heard that phrase? And women still make less than men for the same work today. There was also a great emphasis on equality in relationships between men and women, and what a struggle that was! But love and/or romance tended to overwhelm any differences, whether in movies or in real life.
My impression is that young women today take all this struggle for granted. My other impression is that romance in movies is dead unless you’re a vampire or werewolf. I saw the movie “Friends With Benefits” a few weeks ago, and it was about as romantic (and as comic) as a visit to the drugstore to buy condoms, despite having two very appealing leads, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. They sort of learned a lesson about sex and love, but it was distasteful every step of the way. Is this what love has come to?
So here’s a link to a video from the Village Vanguard concert. http://bcove.me/9jof67u4
And here’s to a little more romance in the world, between loving equals.