They could have been rom-coms: the films of M. Night Shyamalan

The Unbreakable Heart of the Happenin’ Lady in the Water. While watching The Happening recently with friends, I thought about the films of M. Night Shyamalan: part thriller, horror, mystery, drama, and sci-fi with even a generous amount of comedy at times. But where’s the romance, M.?  With just a little tweaking, I’m certain the films of M. Night Shyamalan could play out as rom-coms. Here are suggestions for my fave three:

The Sixth Sense:  You thought your boyfriend was alive for the past 97 minutes, but in reality he’s deader than market trout. How can love survive? The Sixth Sense could be a delightful rom-com of errors as child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) struggles to change into different clothes but inexplicably can’t. Despite guy-pal Haley Joel Osment’s continuous warnings “I see dead relationships,” Bruce fights to make things work with his girl and, in the end, he is brought back to life by true-love’s kiss.

The Happening:  Love is in the air. Or is it a toxin?  There’s something about Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg) that makes women turn off their self-preservation switches and kill themselves in an assortment of knee-slapping ways. Elliot loves Alma, but if he gets too close, will she too feed herself to a zoo lion? He is upset and not even percentages can soothe him. Risking it all for love, he and Alma flee to an obscure little B&B in the countryside run by the highly-unstable-but-always-loveable Mrs. Jones. But when Mrs. Jones kills herself, Elliot wonders if Alma is next. Have no fear, though: at 9:27 on a Wednesday morning in an act of nature that we’ll never fully understand, Elliot and Alma break the curse and reverse everyone’s suicides with true-love’s kiss. 

Signs:  Ex-reverend Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) is mourning the death of his wife and unable to move on. But when cryptic love notes start appearing in his yard in the form of crop circles, Graham finds himself caring for a mystery life-form he has never met. Shyamalan is at his romantic best as Graham and his secret admirer exchange crop messages and late-night whispers over an old baby monitor.  In the end, the mystery woman turns out to be Officer Laski, who admits that yes it was she who jumped onto his roof like a Scandinavian female Olympian. As Merrill swings away, Graham and Officer Laski reverse the crop circles with true-love’s kiss.

Paula Jane

1 Comment »

  1. Victoria said

    You are crazy and I LOVE it!. You are hilarious, my friend!

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