# I'm so glad I fell in love with you I was recommended *Good Will Hunting* in my final year of university, by a fellow mathematician[1]. (The extent to which she felt I resembled the title character is an open question). It makes an interesting, hopeful point - that those with talents should use them, and even the untalented can recognize when someone's wasting their ability - and then proceeds to undermine it with the ending, where our mathematical genius confronts his fears, departs his worthless job... and goes to chase down a waitress. I had a similar experience with *Groundhog Day*[2]. Given infinite time, a man goes through all the possible responses - anger, denial, acceptance - and chooses the noble option; he betters himself, both morally (learning to help strangers) and functionally (becoming, if nothing else, a talented ice sculptor). And yet the film tells us that none of this matters: only "true love", it seems, has the power to change fate. Which is part of why *Honey & Clover* sits very high on my list[3]. Not only is it a beautifully constructed story of human relationships[4], but the two concluding messages are rarely heard, but in my view truths: that some things *are* more important than romance, and that a love that has failed is not a bad thing, even between friends. Plenty of works pay lip service to the idea that exes should remain friends, but *Honey & Clover* really believes it, showing us the results - before, during, and after. There is sadness and suffering, and romance is the cause of some of it - but love does not create human miscommunication and incompatibility, merely exposes it, and Yamada's unrequited attraction is perhaps more of a barrier to friendship while hidden than when it's finally, painfully acknowledged. No other work, though, seems to acknowledge that some people have better things to do than dating - not in a flippant way, but in the sense of that rare person who actually has something important to contribute to the world as a whole. I'd be very happy to hear of counterexamples. [1] Whom I had at one point expressed an attraction to<br/> [2] Recommended by the same source<br/> [3] It's no longer my favourite anim&eacute; - that honour belongs to *Wandering Son* - but it's comfortably in the top 5<br/> [4] Or so it remains in my memory. [Home](/) <div id="disqus_thread"></div> comments powered by Disqus