5 Epic Kisses in Book-Film Adaptations

A good kiss will make you sigh in wistful happiness. A really great kiss makes your stomach drop, your heart pound as you live that moment with the two leads

In a previous post, I discussed what it takes to be a really strong female and be badass and conquer the world. Be your own hero. But, what about when you’re writing or watching or reading a simple, thrilling romance and you come upon that one thing that quickens your heartbeat? It’s that one great kiss, right?

Every writer on earth wants to know: What elevates a good love story to a great romance?

Is it strong chemistry between the hero and heroine? Or unforgettable characters who stand out long in the minds of readers after they’ve finished seeing the movie or reading the book?

Or is it that indefinable oomph factor that you just can’t explain but that tugs at your heartstrings and creates a flutter in your tummy, when you see or read-imagine the two adorbs leads adventuring onto their HEA?

For me, it’s all about the kiss. Always has been, always will be. First kisses, last kisses and every kiss in between, when a writer (screen and book) describes a really, really good kiss and it plays out exactly the way it’s supposed to. A good kiss will make you sigh in wistful happiness, a really great kiss makes your stomach drop, your heart pound as you live that moment with the two leads. It makes you whip out your phone and text a big smoochie to your SO or, if you have the time and bandwidth surprise them with a visit.

A good kiss will make you sigh in wistful happiness. A really great kiss makes your stomach drop, your heart pound as you live that moment with the two leads. It makes you whip out your phone and text a big smoochie to your SO or, if you have the time and bandwidth surprise them with a visit.

The components of this kiss are: Setting, Characters, Positions and Chemistry.

I’ll expound on these factors in another post, but suffice it to know that Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler would have been far less effective if those stairs hadn’t been there for him to carry her over. Not to mention Jennifer Leigh’s sizzling looks to Clark Gable that sold me on drama and romance, forevermore.

So, for today’s post y’all, I am going to list 5 Epic Kisses in Book-Film Adaptations based on the above criteria.

Why book-film, you might ask?

It’s cuz, imagine, someone wrote the epic kiss and two total hotties (they almost always are) get to play it out on screen exactly the way you and the book writer imagined it.
It is a twofer, isn’t it?

Also, saving TV for another day.

So, without further ado, in no particular order, here’s the list.

1. The Notebook – Ryan Gosling exploded into our hearts and on the silver screen with his impassioned portrayal of Noah Calhoun, the man who never forgot his one true love and built her dream house for her. But what elevated Ryan to total dream and sexboat status is the kiss in the rain with Rachel McAdams’s Ally. And it doesn’t hurt that he is all scruffy and bearded.

Tied for this Nicholas Sparks’s spot is Josh Duhamel’s Alex in Safe Haven. He is adorable, quirky and hot as hell with his hands all over Julianne Hough’s vulnerable but tough Katie. Full marks!

2. Atonement – Ian McEwan’s saga of unrequited and doomed love was perfectly portrayed by James MacAvoy and Keira Knightley (before she went weird-skinny). And of course, every true romance nerd’s dream is to wear a pretty green dress and be felt up (sweetly) in a library like James does Keira.

3. 10 Things I Hate About You – I know, I know. It’s Shakespeare and it’s been done to death and Taming of The Shrew is no Romeo and Juliet (Claire Danes, Leo DiCaprio!!) but Heath Ledger’s Patrick Verona is yummy. Especially as he sits splattered with paintball paint, and tells Julia Stiles’s Kat that she should never have to be someone else, before they get to the big smoochies. Not to mention, that totally cheesy poem in the end. Sigh.

4. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Mark Darcy is the Austen Darcy is Colin Firth squared. Do I even need to say anything more? Renee Zellweger’s Bridget Jones takes the whole movie to figure out she should get with him but that New Year’s kiss is so WORTH it!! Don’t y’all agree?

5. Pride and Prejudice – Darcy and Bennett. Colin Firth in a wet, white shirt. Enough said. (Yes, he gets mentioned twice, but really. This list could be all about him and it would still rock, right?)

Honorable mentions go to

1. Ron and Hermione in Deathly Hallows Part 2. Finally. At the end. The very end. FINALLY!

2. The Adjustment Bureau’s Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are a sweet treat when they finally outrun angels and kiss their way to a HEA. (The film is adapted from a short story by Philip K Dick.)

3. Chetan Bhagat’s on-screen adaptation of 2 States. Alia Bhatt’s free-spirited Ananya and Arjun Kapoor’s staid Krish are a steamy delight to watch. Same for desi Romeo and Juliet Ishaqzaade’s hot makeout scene between Arjun Kapoor’s Parma and Parineeti Chopra’s Zoya. (God, that Arjun Kapoor sure can kiss the ladies!)

 

Kisses I have imagined in books but want to see on film

1. Shilpa Suraj’s Arjun in Rescued by Love is a YUM GOD. I’d totally love to watch that kiss at the landing of Naina’s apartment in Goa. Totally!

2. Nalini Singh’s Kaleb Krychek in Heart of Obsidian on a rocky ledge somewhere in Northern California kissing the hell out of Sahara Kyriakus. Although I would rather he kissed me. (And did other things besides!)

3. (Shameless plug alert) But can you imagine how cool (and hot) it would be to see Kingdom Come’s Krivi and Ziya get it on in Ladakh under the stars on a full-moon night with the gentle waters of the lake lapping on the shore….?(Pardon the blonde hair on Ziya…she had it colored for this post.)

And that is it, for now, y’all. Lemme know what your personal favorite Book-Film Epic Kisses are and who knows, they just might make it in round 2.

Xx
Writer Gal.

Book Review of Rescued By Love by Shilpa Suraj (Mills&Boon)

…And it is good!

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There are a few writers who enrich your life with their words, stories and vivid imagination. Then there are writers whose books you actively wish you could have written. And the last, a very rare breed of writers, whom you want to befriend just because they write stories you wish you’d written that enrich your life.

Shilpa Suraj is that rare breed of writer.

In her second M&B romance Rescued by Love (which I read first on a personal request from Shilpa) we get to meet that hero we all love to fall in love with — Lt. Col. Arjun Malhotra. Tough, stoic, handsome and with a heart as gooey as melted chocolate. He rescues the heroine Naina from a kidnapping in the harsh terrain of Ladakh (I cannot help but think of Kingdom Come and Krivi Iyer) and she falls for his particular kind of bravery instantly.

Who wouldn’t?

He is exactly that perfect.

Naina has been the cossetted, pampered and yet unloved daughter of – a man who will break rather than bend as he sentences a notorious terrorist to death and has his daughter kidnapped in retribution. He is upset with her for getting into this terrible situation instead of being sick with worry over her safety and life. Her mother is no better, kowtowing to the father’s every whim instead of speaking her own mind and insisting that the daughter do the same: Marry an ‘appropriate’ guy that her father has picked out so she can live a comfortable life.

In her first act of rebellion, Naina goes to Ladakh and promptly gets taken hostage and then rescued by yummy Arjun and his awesome colleagues. And over the course of the trek that brings her back home, she finds her heart stolen by the soldier who puts duty and honor above everything else. The very thing that attracts her to him is the very thing that will keep them apart.

It’s a delicious dilemma that is further aided by Naina’s refusal to bend down to her father’s dictates as she is finally dumped back home with a broken heart and stubborn hope of changing her own future.

If I reveal any more, I risk giving out spoilers and I would like to avoid that. Suffice it to say that when Naina grows a spine and meets Arjun again in vastly different circumstances (of course, they do!) the drama and tension are even higher than they were amid all the bullets in Ladakh.

Falling in love is, after all, more dangerous than being rescued from militant terrorists.

The thing I loved the most about Rescued is its simple language which grabs you by the throat from scene one and refuses to let go till you reach the end. The other thing is the character growth arc of Naina from a doormat personality with no clue about her own desires to a woman who makes the right choices for the right reasons. And well, if I gush any more about Arjun I will be accused of biased favoritism, but Shilpa, seriously couldn’t you have at least given him a mole or something to detract from that hero-like perfection?

I also love that the mom has been relegated to a secondary character with no name at all, signifying how little impact she has on her daughter’s life and her husband’s commanding presence, not to mention Aditya. Read him, y’all. You’ll want him to have his own book, guaranteed.

If there is a tiny wrinkle with the book, I’d say that it has too few moments of passion (and one very ill-timed one) but it takes absolutely nothing away from the story or its characters.

Four and a half stars (Half a star taken for the minimal sex scenes)