(photo is by john clifford)
this film portrays in contrast an insight on the type of romantic love that we used to talk about a lot back when we were younger. the question of who would you go for, given that you have the following choice. will you go for "the one" or "the only one".
"the one" is the person you love ultimately but he doesn't necessarily feel the same way or none at all. the kind of love that exists in literature. it is love where the stakes are high. even life itself.
"the only one (available)" is the person who loves you but you don't necessarily feel the same way or none at all. it's the one that you accept because either you are afraid to be alone, that you think there might be no one else, or you need the company. the kind of love that is mundane, tolerable, or that needs years to be nurtured.
leonard (played by joaquin phoenix) was setup by his parents to meet with sandra (played by vinessa ssaw). i am uncertain if this is a usual practice for american jews. it reminds me of how filipino chinese parents actively participate in arranging dates or introductions so to speak for their children. especially when it becomes although subtle as a sort of business merger of mutual benefit between families if it works out well. i can see why it persists. it is practical.
later leonards accidentally meets with michelle (played by gwyneth paltrow) whom he falls deeply in love for. is this not how love should be? is not love a complete accident, like magic, that consumes us.
naturally leonards explores both women. he dates sandra as a fallback, as a duty to his family. the safe route. where some might be quick to judge him. i do not. would you turn down love that is offered. he pursues michelle who considers him a close friend or worse like a brother among other setbacks.
in the story, i savored the honesty of how it ended as i suspect it to be so with many couples. many wouldn't admit it. of course. but i believe it to be the majority in this case. that people do not often end up with those they intended to be with. that couples born out of complacency, convenience, contentment with what is available, end up with "the only one" rather than "the one". though it does happen. not just often enough. or if it does happen. it does not linger long enough. passion dies.
rate 3 out of 5