Looking on Love

You drive me crazy…
but I adore you.

When it comes to romance, the looks say it all. Don’t ya think? Whether it’s in animated film or not. We read romance in facial expressions. Sometimes it’s harder to capture the exact expression in a book, but that’s what we, writers, work to do. 

I know many writers, including myself, that study movies, YouTube clips etc…poring over and over an expression an actor makes that portrays falling in love, admiration, flirtation, longing, desire, angst. 

Here are a few pictures that capture an expression. No words needed (but I’ll probably give you some anyway) to convey what’s going on. 



What do you see in his face? Does he need to tell her
how much she means to him? The hand at the
back of her neck is tender. A soft moment.
Longing. Desire in a non-fifty shades kind of way.



Whether you’re  fan of  Twilight or not,
this facial expression he’s making is killer
 (ha pardon the pun or don’t). This is
intense. Angst. And in context of the movie,
a struggle in self-control on Edward’s part.
Ah! We all love Princess Bride, don’t we?
Westly is about to leave. But this expression, it’s
almost like he’s imprinting his promise to return,
his loyal devotion and love to her. He. Will. Be. Back.
And not Terminator style! 
Here, Westly is back! It’s been forever and
at this moment she knows it’s her farm boy
and not the dread pirate Roberts. This expression
conveys, “I came back. My love, my loyalty, my devotion
has never wavered. And…I missed you.”
Okay, Matthew C. really knows how to express
falling in love. I love the lips on lips smile. It expresses:
You make me happy. Love is fun. Whimsical. And it’s
about to crank up to something so much more.
Yeah, here he is again. Okay,
so they fought. So they had a misunderstanding.
It’s resolved. It’s a quiet expression, isn’t it? Full
of apology. Hope. Even pleading a bit. And longing,
as well as desire. We all know what happens next.
Plus the sweat just adds to it, doesn’t it?
Paul Rudd in Clueless. Cher doesn’t realize he’s
sneaking a peek at her. But check out those eyes.
I want to be with her. She’s so out of my league.
He’s almost willing her to see him, really see him,
with that look. You’re beautiful. And more than the outside.
Again, he’s really looking at her. If she can’t
see how he feels about her in those eyes, in that lopsided
grin, she’s…well….clueless! Right? Right? 
Good gravy, I adore the closed eye hug. This is Elijah
and Hayley from the Originals. This says, you’re safe.
You’re in my arms and I’ll never let anything ever happen
to you.  Flood of relief. You belong to me (in a non-Silence of the Lambs
kind of way). It’s so intense, he has to close his eyes.
A favorite prince for me. What’s this say?
I’m cute. Admit it. And I’m worming my way out of
something. Ariel is smitten with him over his boyish
flirting. It’s effortless to him. 
Check out the same-ish look in Hugh Grant’s expression.
This was Two Week’s Notice. He’s playful. Teasing.
But behind that, look at the admiration, the desire,
the…love he has for her. He’s every bit as smitten
as Eric in the next picture below.
Here she’s working her charm, naive as it is, on him.
Nothing else in the world is going on. Not dinner. Not the world.
Nothing but her. He could stay right here like this forever.
And she’s not even noticing.  
We all love Mr. Darcy! Rain helps set this mood.
Nothing like a hero with we hair matted to his forehead,
dripping down his cheeks. This is I love you but…see the pain.
The agony there. Not like Edward Cullen. Because it’s a
different king of pain a different kind of control.

Something about the trapped expression. His jaw’s set.
Look closely. He’s determined. He knows exacty what he wants
and it’s not slipping away. His hands shield her from it.
Pay attention to her face! She knows it. He’s a wolf (cue Duran Duran)
but not the kind that will devour her in a bad way. In fact, maybe those arms
are there to reveal she’s safe…sort of wink wink…

What hero/movie/book stands out to you as a sigh-moment in relation to romance?  

3 thoughts on “Looking on Love

  1. Tops for me is the relationship between Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in "Notting Hill".


  2. Fun! So much truly lives in a look. Love this 🙂

  3. Loved the post! Especially since it's what I'm working on right now, all those details, expressions, moments that make the scene come out of your head and appear on paper. My favorite part of writing! And I agree with Notting Hill. It's one of my most favorite movies, along with Hope Floats:)


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