Wednesday Watching Posts: What Are You Watching and Reading and Thinking and Listening to the Week Thar Released?

Happy Wednesday! It is 80 degrees in my living room and the city is tearing up the street outside my window. But I am happy, because I got my fan going and I am taking pictures of the construction to send to my nephew.

I’ll start!

Watching: I’m co-working again today and considering using the time to also watch Thar. Last week we saw the two Bahubalis, so I need a strong follow up. In non-Indian news, started the new The Staircase miniseries. That is SUCH a weird story! Just, so very very strange! At one point it was about the failure of the legal system, but now it’s morphed into something about true crime and fame and family and I don’t even know. Anyway, Colin Firth manages to do a perfect Michael Peterson accent, and also make himself unattractive. And to add to the weirdness, Schwarzenegger’s son plays one of the Peterson kids, one of the few people on earth who’s personal life is more unusual than the character he plays.

Reading: Started Anne of Green Gables! So good. Matthew is such an amazing character. And Rachel Lynde. Marilla is good also, but those two really shine in the first chapters.

Thinking: Should I see Ranveer’s new movie, or the random Tamil movie I know nothing about that is also playing?

Listening: My nephew watched Bahubali for the first time! Or at least, this song. Apparently he was fascinated, and then immediately stood up and run up the stairs.

Now, question for you! Inspired by Colin Firth making himself unattractive in The Staircase, what actors can you think of that never, no matter what, are unattractive?

Let’s see. Shahrukh and Cary Grant spring to mind. I’ve seen both of them play “mildmannered” types who are supposed to be overlooked and uninteresting, and yet they are both still super attractive. Who for you?

73 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Posts: What Are You Watching and Reading and Thinking and Listening to the Week Thar Released?

  1. I am really worried about Ranveer’s new movie. Not because I don’t think it will be good, but because it is being marketed as a regional movie and those type of movies just aren’t going to get people to leave their houses. Also, none of the big theaters by me are playing it, which makes me sad. The closest theater is 30 minutes away and it only has one showing. UGH! I really want Ranveer to have a hit!

    Husband and I are in the process of watching Anatomy of a Scandal. My husband did not enjoy Big Little Lies (also by the same creator), so he keeps saying, there is no way this is going to end well. But I enjoyed those shows so I am hopeful.

    I also realized that I don’t think I ever watched Farz – an old Jeetendra/Babita movie that is based on the James Bond movies. So, I will likely watch that at some point also.

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    • Let me know what you think of Anatomy of a Scandal. Interestingly, it fits well with the topic, Rupert Friend makes himself very unattractive which made me sad because I had quite a crush on him for some time.

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      • Anatomy of a Scandal is quite good. It’s fairly short for one thing. I just wished that they had done a clear cut ending, rather than a wishy-washy one, with possibly a second season coming along.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Popka! I knew I could count on you. I actually figured that both you and Shelomit have probably seen the movie!

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      • It is of interest to me! Thank you!

        Also, yay!!! Francesca’s book was another one of my favorites. To me, it was probably the sexiest of the books, so I can’t wait to see how they depict it on television! I also really appreciated her struggle with infertility.

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          • While I absolutely adored the chemistry between Anthony and Kate, I actually did not like like the series compared to the book. The best part of the book was how supportive the sisters were toward each other and how much the mother loved Kate. Edwina never loved Anthony and was happy when Anthony wanted to marry Kate. It was a relief for her to be able to marry a scholar like she always wanted instead of having to marry for money to save her family. They completely ruined that in the series and it was infuriating! I hated the conflict between Edwina and Kate. I also hated the random grandparents story line that they added. Also, in the book, I loved the relationship between the step-mother and Kate and they barely touched on that in the series. Finally, I in the book, I LOVED that they got married early in the book and then grew to love one another. It was amazing. I wished that had happened in the series too. Sorry for the rant. I think if I hadn’t read the book, I would have probably liked the series more. Or maybe, the people who didn’t like the book liked the series more. How about you? How did you like it? Did you read the book before watching the series?

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          • Yes! I skimmed through it recently to make sure we were all remembering correctly. SPOILERS Anthony is irritated but attracted to Kate, invites her to a house party along with Edwina, quickly loses interest in Edwina, is caught in a compromising position with Kate and is happy to marry her and vice versa. So essentially everything is the same through the first 2-3 episodes, and then the show goes in a whole different direction. The book plot is that they are married and very happy together, but Anthony is trying to resist “falling in love” because he doesn’t want to cause his wife pain when he dies as he saw his mother struggle with. Until Kate is caught in a minor carriage accident and it makes him realize that love is worth it even if it is only for a short time. END SPOILERS

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  2. Which tamil movie you consider watching?

    An actor who can’t be unattractive? Maddy. No matter how many kg he gains, how his hair is he will always be beautiful (at least for me). There is a scene in TWM 2, when Kangana wakes up Maddy in the middle of the night. He has messy hair, a wrinkled hoodie and sleepy eyes (also the haters would say few kg too much, but those people are evil and their opinion doesn’t count 😉 ). I still remember that I thought: This man is beautiful no matter what. This is the scene:

    In Zero also they gave him the worst clothes but still he was super hot.

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    • Tamil movie is “Don” starring and produced by Sivakarthikeyan. Do you know anything about him?

      Agree about Madhavan. I have found his PERSONALITY unpleasant (Jhootha Hi Sahi), but never his person.

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      • I saw Sivakarthikeyan’s Doctor few months ago. It was funny, he was hot, the music and the heroine were good. Don has the same music director – Anirudh who I really like, and the same heroine.

        Maddy plays a difficult character in Netflix series Decoupled. I have seen only one episode but I kept thinking: this guy’s a prick but I wouldn’t say no.

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  3. Tell me you did not put David Huxley as an example of ‘unattractive’!!! He is what made me fall for Cary Grant!  

    Do you mean Colin Firth made himself physically unattractive or his character which made him so? For the former, agree about Shahrukh and Cary Grant, and also Shashi, Fawad? Though I have to say Shahrukh as the gangster in Duplicate was repulsive in every way. 

    I’ll wait for your Thar review, I wanted to watch it but heard it’s violent, which gives me pause.

    I finished Babylon Berlin. The female lead is one of the best women characters I’ve seen in a long time, she keeps going no matter how unfair life is to her. I’m in that weird state after I finish a good show – feeling deprived because there are no more episodes, trying to read up everything related to it (frustrating because there’s not a lot) and pushing other people to watch it.

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    • Yes, Shashi and Fawad! I have found the characters they played very annoying many times but still found the person attractive! Maybe adding Rock Hudson to that list and also maybe Hugh Grant?

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      • Good choices! I’m also realizing I can’t accurately answer this if I’ve only seen few of an actor’s movies, chances are they all play attractive characters in those.

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      • Hugh Grant in A Very British Scandal successfully makes himself unattractive! At least, to me. He plays a big bloated bully type, no delicacy, and also somehow limited handsomeness?

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    • To Kainaat, Thar is mysterious and exceedingly bloody. But Anil is god’s gift to Indian cinema, and his son didn’t fall far from the talent tree. Both convey so much so seemingly effortlessly. Anil’s eyes and slightest movement speak volumes. And Harsh delivers layers of emotional backstory even while deadpanning thru most of the film. The movie has been touted as a nod to Hollywood Westerns but to me, it’s pure Indian cinema magic.

      To Angie, I’m a Maddy fan, but I couldn’t get thru Decoupled. I think I stopped at Epi #3. Did you watch til the end? Should I go back and try again?

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    • Colin Firth made himself unattractive, it’s amazing! The real person is somewhat odd and off-putting, in a way that made the jury and prosecutors not much like him and some of his in-laws distrust him. So Colin Firth can’t be his usual tall confident charismatic self, he has to look like the kind of person you don’t really want to spend that much time with.

      Glad you finished and enjoyed Babylon, sad for you that it is over!

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      • I don’t know if this has flown under your radar, but are you aware of Jalsa, the Vidya-Shefali movie that released sometime back? Recommend it.

        Thinking of the new Dr Strange movie, I want to watch it but as I’ve not watched any of those Marvel shows which have since come out, I’m wondering if I’ll be missing things. I hate this Marvel thing where you’ve to watch ten other things to enjoy a movie. I liked the first Dr. Strange precisely because it was its own thing separate from everything else.

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    • I have tentative plans for Thar. Also not super pumped about Harsh, but I think I’m being too hard on him based on, yeah, the whole sneaker thing. He was really good in Bhavesh Joshi Superhero, and I LOVED him in AK vs AK. He committed so hard to making fun of himself. And the rest of his filmography seems to be things that were bad anyway, like Ray and Bombay Velvet.

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      • Report back! The thing is the other actors in his ep of Ray were fine, so I can’t just blame the material. Anyway, it would take something special to make me get over the visceral hatred I think.

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        • Ah, fair enough, I actually tapped out of Ray right before his episode. I’ll watch for Anil and control my expectations for Harsh.

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          • Oh man, well, don’t watch it if you don’t want him to be ruined forever because he is SO BAD. FYI, the lady who acted opposite him was great and I’ll be watching out for her.

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  4. So I saw Paagal, and it totally annoyed me. I was getting into it, he was “in love” with the politician dude, who I really like as an actor, I don’t know why – maybe it is all because of Main Hoon Na – maybe I’m a sucker for super distinictive faces – anyway I was LOVING it and then he lures him up to a roof top and SHOOTS HIM!?! And THEN – THEN I don’t get to find out why and instead watch ANOTHER love story. And I couldn’t get into the “real” love story becuase I just wanted to go back to politican guy.

    Outside of Paagal the family has been working our way through all the Disney Car movies and shorts. Yeah Disney Land gave us Covid, but damn, Cars Land was cool. Was it worth it. No. But still Cars Land was cool.

    Spouse and I are at a loss of what to see together. I refuse to watch fishing shows and military movies and he doesn’t want to see anything with subtitles. We were going to watch Yellowstone but then realized we needed to pay for it, and so didn’t.

    So excited your reading Anne of Green Gables! Oh Gilbert, crap I just realized I married Gilbert. The friend you fall in love with. Nah not really my husband is actually more interesting. But anyway GREAT book. I’m reading A Naturalist in Nicaragua published in 1875ish and it is awesome. The author loves bugs and now I love bugs. He thinks ants have the utopian society and given his racism I’m not surprised he would rather live like an ant. It is a great book. I don’t understand his bits about mining and geology, but most of the book is about bugs so that’s okay. Knowing the history of a land connects me more to it, and gives me more reference points for when I read modern Nicaraguan tales.

    Thinking – it is really nice not to feel nauseaus when I read, even though I am kinda wishing I got the bifocals because the on off on off aspect is annoying.

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    • That’s how I felt about Paagal! All the good stuff was in the first half. The second half was cute, but not nearly as fun and imaginative.

      A friend just suggested the Cars movies to me for my car-obsessed nephew. What do you think? Would they work for a less-than-3 year old?

      For you and your husband, Longmire! Or Bosch! They are similar, strong cowboy-like male heroes, but also really great female characters and good mysteries and good character work, and no extra violence. I mean, murders, they are crime shows after all, but nice clean murders.

      Yes Anne of Green Gables! I look forward to you joining the discussion on Sunday just based on memory 🙂 Although, on the other hand, GILBERT WAS TOTALLY NOT BORING!!!! Well, at least no more than all men are boring. I love Montgomery, but she had very little time for or interest in her male characters. Anne had so many great unique female friends, and then Gilbert is a bit of a blank in comparison. But way more interesting than any other man in the book!

      You read such fascinating things. I will have to tell my aunt about your ant book. She did a lot of volunteering in Nicaragua in the 70s and 80s before it all went upsy-daisy.

      My very first pair of glasses, when I was 12, were such a mild prescription that I was told not to use them while reading. Or only to use them while reading? Anyway, something irritating. I was so glad when my sight got worse and I could just wear the glasses all the time.

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      • Your nephew would LOVE cars 1 and all the cars shorts. Cars 2 would be over his head AND it starts off with car deaths!! Way too intense for little people. But all the Mater Tales and Cars 1 are perfect for any child who loves vehicles, in fact I’ve seen fans who can’t even speak yet – but ya know they aren’t supposed to watch TV before blah blah blah.

        I will happily join in the Anne discussions!

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        • Yeah, my nephew was going to be all “no screen time before blah blah blah” and then life just got too hard to be perfect. It’s still just music videos though which feels somehow educational? And also, are a good length for his attention span. I’m gonna send this comment on to my sister to consider, I know they have Disney Plus because I bought it for them (bring that child up RIGHT!).

          Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, Anne discussions! You can bring up your “Gilbert is boring” theory and see how that flies 🙂

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          • Jumping in just to protest against Gilbert being boring! He was the only one who made my 10 year old heart swoon!

            (Although 10 year olds can be famously self-centered, so maybe that’s why???)

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          • Gilbert made my 14 year old heart swoon too! But now that I’m 46 I need more.

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      • Oh, this afternoon we started watching the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and it was perfect! A little over embarrassing at times but the kids could come in a watch a bit and laugh and honestly it put me in a good mood. Yeah we got covid – but hell we weren’t kidnapped and trapped in a bunker for 15 years!! I think we may have finished the whole first season in one sitting.

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        • I love The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt! It loses it’s way a little bit in the last couple seasons I think, the usual problem of knowing where you want to end but not how you are going to get there. However, it’s still great straight through! Tina Fey describes her sitcom ideas as “it’s a live action cartoon”, so makes sense that the kids like it.

          Oh oh! You can show them Princess Bride! So they can appreciate Carol Kane! I love Carol Kane. I think she was also in the Fairy Tale Theater series?

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          • The seven year old tonight LOVED watching Titus & Mikey kiss- he thought it was so funny how everyone was watching them and then he got super cuddly.

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          • Awwwwwwwwwww. I love that a show featuring an attractive young white woman gives the best romance to the older overweight POC gay best friend.

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          • They love the Princess Bride – though we save that for Grandma & Grandpa’s house because they have the DVD and no internet.

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    • I love Paagal but I understand what you mean. The love stories in the first half are funny and the one with the politician is also cute and very rare. The following story looks boring in comparison, at least in the beginning.
      But my problem with this last story is different – I want Vishvak to show me he really felt in love with this girl. He proposed to so many girls, how can I know this time it’s serious? Yes, he tells her that it’s different now but I want to see him realizing slowly how much he really likes her.

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  5. Matthew ❤ I found myself smiling yesterday remembering the first confrontation between Anne and Rachel Lynde. The book definitely influenced my personality and character and shaped my thoughts…. There's a line in there I recall about how Marilla was sympathetic to Anne just then as she suddenly remembered some relative commenting on her looks as a young girl — and that was a hidden lesson in there to be empathetic before censuring! Montgomery is definitely one of my Life Teachers. .. and all that stuff about kindred spirits! And being good in school! And celebrating female friendships! I love that Anne was so flawed.

    Ugh I'm saying everything here before your book post! 🙈

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    • It’s just so good! I can see why it became and remained a hit, especially having read her other books. The clarity of the characters and relationships in the Anne series is just slightly better than in all her other books.

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      • I liked her Emily series although not the last novel — I don’t think I got it when I was young, was disappointed by the romance… and didn’t take to it much when I tried again in college.

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        • I really liked the Emily series as well, and I believe that is the one that is closest to her own life. Except that she actually married the “nice older man” instead of rejecting him. But yes, there is a lot of magical realism there, especially in the last novel, which sort of takes away from the good grounded small town stories aspect.

          Did you read Pat of Silver Brook? Strangely, I think of that as the saddest of all her books. Saddest because the tragedy is so every day and normal and it feels like something that pricks at her own heart, not like an Epic Love Tragedy Fantasy. SPOILERS Pat loves her home farm and home house, and she is very close to and loves deeply her brother. And then her brother ends up marrying a woman she just cannot stand and vice versa. She loses her home and her brother because it hurts too much to be around him. Yes, she gets to marry a nice man and start a new life, but that pain of losing the brother and the house, of the other woman being picked over her, is so strong I haven’t been able to reread the books END SPOILERS.

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          • A reader once wrote to LMM saying the same thing about Pat being such a sad book!

            She was really surprised, since she didn’t see it, but acknowledged that Pat was written at a very sad time in her own life and it must have leaked through (trouble with her oldest son and her husband had just started getting sick).

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          • I haven’t read that one, and it’s interesting townandtulips how LMM’s life percolated to her writing. I found out about her life very late, only googling her in my 20s and was astonished by how someone who formed my view of what life and love and relationships were meant to be had such a hard time of it herself.

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          • I find that fascinating as well! But in her own books, she shows how the “old maids” of the area, the ones on the side of things, see most clearly. That’s how I picture her, watching everyone else and drawing her conclusions on what is the best life from what they do.

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  6. Oh Margaret!! I cannot find the post of yours so I’m commenting here — do you recall how you said that Jane Fairfax is the real heroine of Emma and Emma from her perspective would make for a wholly satisfying story?

    Well someone did just that!! Three people in fact 😀

    Jane Fairfax by Joan Aiken
    Dear Jane by Allie Creswell
    Lovers Perjuries by Joan Ellen Delman

    I read the first yesterday and have started the second today. Am trying to get the third in Singapore as shipping from the US will take a lot of time (and isn’t so great environmentally!) But if I can’t, I’ll order it to an address in US and get it to Singapore whenever someone travels back here. Psyched. 💃

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  7. My vote for someone who can’t look bad is probably Rahul Khanna. Granted, no one’s tried really hard but I can’t imagine it anyway. (Interestingly, in Rab Ne I think Shahrukh is completely unattractive in the Raj avatar, but I really go for him as Surinder. He should non-ironically wear glasses more!)

    Only watching was Gangubai, which as I mentioned on that review, I liked despite its flaws. I was amusing myself thinking of all the similarities between this and his other movies, and I thought he is one of those directors whose movies would make the best drinking game. Like, take a drink every time (1) heroine participates in happy dance with red eyes because she’s heartbroken (extra drink if the word “dhol” is in the title) (2) main character watches dance while making “vah!” gesture (3) happy prostitute dance (4) “We’re both in love with the same guy!” dance or (5) evil older woman ruins everyone’s life.

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    • The only problem with a Bhansali drinking game is that you never want to drink while watching a Bhansali movie because everyone is always so drunk and miserable. Maybe a Bhansali “doing jumping jacks and feeling happy and useful in the world” game?

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      • Yeah, come to think of it, a drinking game during a movie where the main character literally dies of alcohol poisoning would probably not be very festive. I like the idea of a Bhansali Healthy Life game. Like, when someone on screen drinks you have water, when they dance you do jumping jacks, and when they cry you write a card for a shut-in or something. We’d all feel great after the movie.

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  8. Watching: IT’S EUROVISION TIME! Also watched Pyaasa, which was brilliant! Had to write a long assignment for school and watched nearly all of Sooraj Barjatya’s films as a soundtrack while I wrote it.

    Reading: Whatever is new in the literary world I now get, though taking to read them all will need some time. I can give suggestions though for those who like either retellings, historical, fantasy or a combination of both. Especially since it is AAPA month:

    – Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel
    – The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang
    – Ariadne and Elektra by Jennifer Saint
    – Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
    – The Girl Who Fell Beneath The Sea by Axie Oh
    – The City of Dusk by Tara Sim
    – This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi
    – We Hunt the Flame and We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faiz
    – These Violent Delights and These Violent Ends by Chloe Gong
    – The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman
    – The Lady or The Lion by Aamna Quershi
    – The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

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  9. So, instead of watching Farz, I watched a bonkers Telugu movie, Loafer (2015), because I have a crush on Varun Tej and I adore Revathi. It was nuts. It could have been very entertaining but it had way too much casual violence against women for my comfort level. Basically, if a woman contradicted a man, the solution was to slap her multiple times or go ahead and kill her. Not sure if that is common in Telugu movies, but it was hard for me to ignore and enjoy the movie.

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  10. I watched Galwakdi, the punjabi movie I was so excited lately. Well, it was kinda boring. There wasn’t much plot except “A strict man falls in love slowly with Manic Pixie Dream Girl who lives in his house”. They should have add something to the plot, a conflict or sub plot, because for how long one can watch two people talking? I kept watching only for hero’s family cute comedy scenes and Tarsem Jassar’s beauty and dress sense (btw I think I have a little crush on him now). I’m very happy I didn’t quit , because the climax is so unapologetically romantic! A nice, decent man standing with the woman he loves no matter what. I needed this kind of plot. It recharged my romantic batteries for some time.

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