Egalia's Daughters

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade December 2001

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The ideals of romantic relationships have evolved throughout time. Different generations have certain ideas of what normal and appropriate behavior in a romance should be. Among these differences, however, there are similarities that have held true throughout time. Social norms regarding romantic relationships of a certain time period are often portrayed in movies. In the two movies, Drive Me Crazy and Footloose, produced in the 1990's and 1980's, respectively, the romantic relationships encompassing each movie can be both compared and contrasted.

The central theme in both movies revolves around the budding relationship of two teenagers. Similar to both movies is the angst that comes with any new romantic interest. In Footloose, Ariel has a crush on the new boy in town, Ren. She is not sure how he feels, which makes her reluctant, at first to show her feelings. Likewise in Drive Me Crazy, Nicole is unsure of her true feelings for Chase.

Growing up, they were best friends, and a mutual bond during their senior year of high school brings them closer together. Nicole thinks she likes Chase but does not know if he feels the same way. Another similarity between the two movies is the receptivity signals between the two couples through the use of both verbal and non-verbal communication. Both Chase and Ren show their mutual feelings for Nicole and Ariel through non-verbal cues including eye contact, welcoming facial expressions and body language. As time progresses, both couples want to spend more time alone together and gradually open up to one another, revealing more personal details. Ultimately, the relationship progresses to the point that both Nicole and Chase and Ren and Ariel could come right out and say "I like you." Although there are numerable similarities between the two relationships from different decades, there are also some noticeable differences. The relationship between Ren and Ariel in Footloose is more old-fashioned. Ren plays the role of the typical guy. He takes Ariel out to a night club and focuses all of his attention on her for the entire night. While in Drive Me Crazy, the relationship was somewhat more casual. Most of the time, Chase and Nicole go out with big groups of people. Chase is never seen coming to the door to pick up Nicole for a date, whereas Ren is seen opening car doors for Ariel. Another difference between the two relationships revolves around the issue of public display of affection. In Drive Me Crazy, Nicole and Chase are seen a few times "making-out" in areas where there are many people around. However, in Footloose, the kissing scenes between Ren and Ariel are more covert and take place in private places. In addition, Nicole and Chase's kissing scenes are more physical, passionate and involved, whereas Ren and Ariel's are softer and less involved. A third difference between the two couples is how they react to one another at a school dance. In Footloose, Ren asks her father's permission to take Ariel to the prom. The night of the prom, Ren picks up Ariel at her house, opens the car door for her and when they arrive at the dance he leads her out to the dance floor. In Drive Me Crazy, Nicole asks Chase to the dance and the night of the prom he meets her there. At the end of the night, Nicole even walks Chase to his door.

The differences between the two couples are a direct effect of the 14 year time difference between the two movies. Chase's behavior toward Nicole would probably not be accepted in the time that Footlose was made. Similarly, Ren's actions toward Ariel might be mocked or ridiculed if the movie taken place in the late 1990's. In addition, people's views on public display of affection have changed during the time gap of the two movies. Drive Me Crazy takes place in the late 90's, where people were more lenient to a young couple making out, whereas Footloose takes place in the early 80's where that kind of behavior would be frowned upon.

Despite these differences, certain ideals seem to hold true throughout time. The insecurities and anxiety that come with new relationships are prevalent in both movies. Similarly, the signs that both parties are interested in a relationship, including verbal and non verbal cues and body language, are key indicators in the progression of a romance. Time also plays a key factor the progression of these relationships. Both Ren and Ariel and Chase and Nicole had to take time to find a comfort level in a relationship with one another, in which they can verbally express their feelings to each other.

The similarities and differences between the two movies prove two points. The first point being that through the course of time, people's views on romantic relationships inevitably change. This is because society is a constantly changing factor and society plays an important role in the way that people view romance. The second point being that although time brings change, certain aspects of a romantic relationship can and will stand the test of time.