Thursday, May 5, 2011

Heathcliff/ Cathy/ Edgar Love Triangle

One way that is sure to add drama to a romance film is to have a love triangle. My favorite kind of love triangle is what I call the Heathcliff/ Cathy/ Edgar Love Triangle, named after three characters from Wuthering Heights. This type of love triangle involves two men and one woman. The woman has to choose between marrying the rich man and living a life of luxury and security with the Edgar character, or being with the man she loves, who is usually poor and better looking like Heathcliff. Sometimes the Edgar character is a good man who truly cares for the woman, or other times he is a bastard who only wants a pretty wife. One of the major themes you see in this kind of love triangle is a theme of jealousy. Here are a few examples of the Heathcliff/ Cathy/ Edgar Love Triangle in film.

Wuthering Heights (1939, 2009) Heathcliff/ Cathy/ Edgar
While there have been at least a dozen adaptations of Wuthering Heights, these two are my favorite. In Wuthering Heights, Cathy is in love with Heathcliff, but chooses to marry Edgar because he is "handsome and pleasant to be with" but also because he is rich. This of course breaks Heathcliff's heart, but he gets even by marrying Edgar's sister.

Camille (1936) Armand/ Marguerite/ Baron de Varville
In Camille, Margeurite is in love with Armand. She abandons being taken care of by Baron de Varville to go away with him, but unfortunately for her, Armand's father doesn't approve of their relationship. He threatens to take away all of Armand's fortune if she does not leave him. So, in order to try to make him stop loving her, she leaves him for the Baron.

Room With A View (1985) George/ Lucy/ Cecil

In room with a view, Lucy has to choose between George, the man she loves, or Cecil, the stuffy aristocrat whom she is supposed to marry. Unlike the previous films, this one does have a happy ending for Lucy and George.

The Princess Bride (1987) Westley/ Buttercup/ Humperdinck

This version of the Heathcliff/ Cathy/ Edgar love triangle is a little different. Buttercup only gets engaged to Prince Humperdinck because she believes that Westley is dead. When she finds that he is alive, however, she wants to break off her engagement with Humperdinck. He makes an agreement with her, however, that she will marry him unless Westley comes and stops the wedding. This is a really shitty video, but I couldn't find a good version that could be embedded...

Titanic (1997) Jack/ Rose/ Cal
In Titanic, Rose starts off the movie already engaged to the rich Cal, but then falls for the poor Jack while on the "unsinkable ship." We all know that she chooses Jack over Cal, even making the stupid decision to jump back on the sinking ship to be with him.

Shakespeare in Love (1998) Shakespeare/ Viola/ Lord Wessex
In this film, Viola falls in love with William Shakespeare, even though her parents have arranged for her to marry Lord Wessex. Obviously she chooses the famous writer...

Shrek (2001) Shrek/ Fiona/ Lord Farquaad
In Shrek, the title character rescues Fiona from the fire breathing dragon so that he can bring her back to Duloc and she can marry Lord Farquaad. On the way, Fiona and Shrek fall for eachother, but Fiona intends to marry Farquaad because she thinks that only he can break the spell. Luckily, Shrek stops the wedding (even though he was a little late) and Farquaad gets eaten by a dragon.

Moulin Rouge! (2001) Christian/ Satine/ The Duke
Along with Shrek, Moulin Rouge is an example of when the Edgar character is a bastard. Satine and Christian fall in love, but Satine has to charm and seduce the Duke so that he will finance turning the Moulin Rouge into a theater. This film is actually a lot like Camille and deals a lot with jealousy. There is even a similar plot element to Camille where Satine has to make Christian believe that she doesn't love him.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) Will/ Elizabeth/ Norrington
In the first Pirates of the Carribean movie, Elizabeth must choose between Will, her childhood friend, and Commodore Norrington who has asked her to marry him. She agrees to marry Norrington, but chooses Will in the end.

The Notebook (2004) Noah/ Allie/ Lon
Noah and Allie are together for one summer and fall in love. After she leaves to go back home and then to college, she thinks that they are never going to see eachother again. So, she gets engaged to a handsome guy named Lon. Before her wedding, however, she sees Noah's picture in the paper and goes to visit him. It is then that she realizes she still loves him.

Tristan and Isolde (2006) Tristan/ Isolde/ Lord Marke
In Tristan and Isolde, Isolde is in love with Tristan, but is forced to marry Lord Marke. Marke is a kind man, so Isolde does not hate him, which leads to Tristan getting jealous. Isolde does love him, though, so she sneaks out to see him. When the guy is James Franco, how could you not love him?

Red Riding Hood (2011) Peter/ Valarie/ Henry
In Red Riding Hood, Valarie is in love with Peter, but is arranged to marry Henry. In this film, Henry actually gets a clue that Valerie doesn't love him and he breaks off the engagement. That is something that you don't usually see in these kinds of love triangles.

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