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Love When Unfulfilled - Poem by gershon hepner

Love when unfulfilled
is the most romantic
form. When love’s fulfilled
it won’t drive you as frantic
as when it is unable
to be the element
that brief, intense, unstable,
is a near non-event.

In Woody Allen’s movie “Vicky Cristina Barcelona, ” a movie that I consider to be a worthy successor of Truffaut’s masterpiece “Jules et Jim, ” we are initially introduced to the irresistible Javier Bardem, who plays the part of Juan Antonio, an artist who finds it hard to get over the break-up of his relationship with his wife, Maria Elena, played by Penélope Cruz. He propositions two American girls. The willing and irresistible Cristy, played by Scarlett Johanssen, and Vicky, played by Rebecca Hall, who initially gives him the “I have a boyfriend to whom I am planning to get married” line, but is happy enough to be seduced by him when Cristy develops gastric distress moments before consummating her relationship with Javier. Juano Antonio shows Vicky round Barcelona, and after an enchanting outdoor guitar recital, Vicky falls for him head, line and sinker. However, Juan Antonio is more strongly drawn to Cristy, and persuades her to shack up with him, to Cristy’ distress, which is not really relieved when her boyfriend comes to Barcelona with his family to marry her there. He, interestingly, cannot understand why she seems so much more sexually responsive to him than she had been before she met Juan Antonio. She claims to be puzzled by this observation. Maria Elena returns to Juan Antonio after a suicide attempt although the marriage had ostensibly broken. Maria Elena tells the enchanting, horny but somewhat naïve, Cristy that unfulfilled love is its most romantic form, and the three of them engage in a ménage a trois which is far more intense that the unfilled love between Javier Bardem and Cristy’s friend Vicky. The only way this relationship could be properly explained is by poetry, and the good news is that Juan Antonio’s father happens to be a poet. The bad news is that he is unpublished, for personal reasons. Meanwhile, Vicky consents to an extremely unfulfilling marriage with Doug, a prosperous bourgeois New Yorker. The movie ends violently in a melodramatic shootout in which Maria Elena shoots Vicky in the hand just before he was about to give up her bourgeois husband and shack up with Juan Antonio. The movie’s moral seems to be that the temptations of stability outweigh those of elemental instability.

8/20/08


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