by Madeline Iva
There’s nothing like a doomed romance to make my heart go pitter-pat. Doomed worlds are almost kind of cozy to me–if presented in the right way.
‘Cause the world is ending’ is my favorite flavor of doomed, but I am also happy to suck on the bittersweetness of life-forever-and-irrevocably-changed-by-a-fate-we-cannot-control.
You can find classic doomed romances everywhere. The Great Gatsby, Romeo & Juliet, The Notebook, The Fault In Our Stars blah, blah blah. Yes they’re all very very sad. Real hanky fests. But they’re also rather wholesome.
I don’t want sad. If you’re gonna stick the knife in and kill one or both of my protagonists, give the knife a little twist please.
So here’s my favorite Top 5 DOOMED ROMANCE list (Halloween Edition):
- Raw Heat by Charlotte Stein: SUCH a great short romance novel. Serena is a nurse, taking care of a werewolf underground at the end of days. The werewolves are the bad guys in this one–or are they? Serena’s werewolf patient, Connor, is tortured daily by human scientists seeking some kind of Hail Mary cure, before one of their last strongholds is overrun with the enemy. It’s Serena’s job to wipe the blood off Connor’s long and lithe body as the two reach the point where their forbidden desire begins leaking out everywhere. So good it hurts. Connor is extremely wry and calm, while and Serena has been through Too Much and soon starts taking matters–and parts of Connor’s anatomy–into her own hands. Must read for any paranormal erotic romance fan.
Donnie Darko: Jake Gyllenhaall is excellent in this creepy-sad strange and doomed movie. Is he part of a time loop that must be closed to save the world? Or is he a potentially violent schizophrenic? In the middle of unhappy events taking place in existential suburbia a tiny uncomfortable romance blooms. Such a frail flower cannot survive either reality: 1) the consequences of Donnie’s madness or 2) the actions he must take to close the time loop. What a great movie–even if we’re furrowing our brow to keep the time stuff straight in our heads. Totally tragic.
- Mars Attacks: This film tanked in the box office, so don’t spend the big bucks on it. But if you’re in the mood for utter space-fluff, it’s exactly what you’re looking for. The movie is about an interstellar attack by evil aliens who have the stature and morals of ten year olds. (No wonder we’re doomed!) I like Lisa Marie in this film cameo because she’s always so different and unique, she stands out from the crowd in every possible way. The only worthwhile part of this space fluff is the wee tiny romance we get between Sara Jessica Parker and Pierce Brosnan. See, he’s a scientist who’s analysis of the aliens is dead wrong. Because of this, he winds up in one of their space ships, his head detached from his body and hanging from some prongs. When the prankster aliens who have kidnapped SJP as well switch SJP’s head with her dog (played by Poppy who was actually Tim Burton’s dog in real life,) you have a snapping Chihuahua head roaming the space ship on top of a flailing woman’s body. Uh-oh! Meanwhile Sarah Jessica Parker sweetly wags her tail at Pierce. Their attraction is so square and sweet, especially within the context of laser-melting destruction. You just have to love ’em. As their space ship slowly begins to crash into the planet they only have seconds left to confess their love and say goodbye. Sigh. Total doomed bliss.
- Let the Right One In: We’re talking the book translated from the Swedish. A put upon transgender pre-teen vampire with her pedophile minder moves into an apartment complex in a suburb of Sweden. Across the way lives a pudgy pre-teen who faces some intense peer bullying. The loop of chaos in this book unwinds in a slow and inevitable way. There’s blood on the snowy playground landscape before all is done, and two lost souls who find quietude together.
The dramatic climax is like watching a giant plate glass window smashing in slow-mo. Kudos to the brave author who gave us a trans anti-heroine. [FYI If you DO want to see the movie make sure to get the Swedish version of the film, and not the American version. The actress in the Swedish film is *perfect*.]
Gun With Occasional Music: this is a speculative fiction book about a future in which animals are smartened up. Sometimes they act as goons or functionaries, sometimes as sex partners. Almost everyone is snorting drugs they get right at the pharmacy. In the midst of this non-reading populace, one private investigator is headed in the wrong direction fast. He’s taking on Big Brother with no hope and not really giving a f*** about it. Along the way he has a dance of attraction with a Big Brother-brunette who hasn’t been around long enough for the government bad guys to suck her soul away. Besides the neo-noir chops, this book presents the future as a conjuring trick where all our socially accepted addictions morph into a total lack of human rights.
And on that cheery note, I wish you a happy and safe Halloween! Follow us at Lady Smut. We’ll lead you straight down the garden path to sexy anarchy.