This was enjoyable the
second time around, though I found many parts more annoying than I
remember them being. But it was a good lesson in showing how going
to the other extreme is not healthy, either.
It was fun to see the boring math teacher and the enthusiastic
English teacher mesh and contrast. After failed romances on either
side, it's enlightening to see them sit around and be cautious, but not
so much that they don't want to explore each other.
The best line in that part of the movie was "How do you get them
to stay", meaning the students. His lectures were so dull that people
start falling asleep. Even Rose, the English teacher, falls asleep
in his class.
Their discussions on math seemed a little too scripted, but it
was really to show how they meshed together, how they stimulated each other
intellectually, so that their bond wouldn't be physical. And they
grow to love each other because of that.
When Gregory proposes to her, she wants a kiss before she makes
up her mind. Gregory is so insistent on a relationship that is not
physical, that he can't even bring himself to do this without a lot of
This goes on to the point where she wants to have sex, after
perhaps months of marriage, but he figures she should have grown beyond
that. He wants nothing to do with sex, and tries so hard to make
sure it never enters the picture. So she leaves him, and ends up
back at her mother's house, where she has lived the last forty years of
Rose's relationship with her mother is great. Lauren Bacall
plays it wonderfully. She is obsessed with beauty that she can't
see anything unless it is made up with makeup. She patronizes Rose,
doesn't let her eat much, or any variety that has the least bit of fat
So it is with great delight that she begins to take care of Rose
after the breakup, turning her into a model, lightening her hair, sending
her for manicures, getting her into the gym, and so on.
And when Gregory is finished with his European tour, he comes
back to find a wife whom he doesn't know. He flips out, because she
isn't plain anymore. She doesn't wear baggy clothes, showing cleavage,
He has to go and plead with her from her mother's apartment window,
to get her to talk to him again. And then he realizes that he has
made a mistake. It might be the intellectual that founded their relationship,
but it doesn't have to be that exclusively.
But the best scene has to come at the beginning of their marriage,
after they watch a baseball game. The next day, his class is falling
asleep again, so he brings the ball game up in class, and makes a math
set out of it. The students are overwhelmed, asking so many questions
that he can't keep up. It is great.
There is a small sub-plot concerning Rose's sister, who is beautiful,
and who has married a handsome man, who dotes on her every minute, so that
it drives her insane. Brosnan's character used to date Rose, so it
tempts her when both relationships are on the rocks. But she realizes
how superficial he is, as they are about to make love. So she leaves.
All of this began because Gregory misinterpreted part of Rose's
lecture, in the crowded lecture hall. She was expressing the views
of some philosophers about love, and he leaves before she expresses her
own opinions. It's a terrific lecture about love, telling many truths,
and explaining the truths about this movie, too. It just feels too
good to be in love, to be able to give it up!