The first time I even thought of watching A Lot Like Love I did not expect much from it. I knew what I was getting myself into. It was going to be one of the easiest films I would ever watch. Look at the pretty people falling in love and all that. The film did not disappoint. It had Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet. It had all the basic tropes of a romantic comedy. It did not require a lot of attention. Whenever the film needed my attention to be on it, it had specific cues which woke me up. What I did not expect however was the film to have one of my favorite end credits sequences ever.
I was all about ready to turn my computer off and go do better things when it started. Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet do the thing most romance movies do where the leads kiss at the end of the film. The nice pop song starts playing which is supposed to leave the audience feeling all nice and all that. But something changed right there.
I saw the first set of polaroids.
I smiled the second I looked at them. The “cute” pop song started to work its magic on me that much more. I had seen stuff like this in movies before but not exactly this. Most movies always montage pictures of the happily ever after or the pictures of the crazy nights etc. But none had done what this was doing. I did not want to stop watching.
The polaroids just kept on coming. I was glued to the screen. I kept watching the two leads look so happy with each other and as sappy as I may sound saying this, it warmed my heart. The silly faces they were making and the stupid poses they were doing just perpetuated their joy onto me.
Anyone who has ever been in love, be it loving a friend or a boyfriend/girlfriend or a spouse knows that the best parts of a relationship are not the big Ted Mosby-esque moments. The best moments are the smaller ones. The picture of you dancing ridiculously on your birthday or the picture of you sleeping lovingly next to each other on a trip with no idea a picture is being taken or the candid pictures the two of you take of yourselves etc. Those pictures are the ones that bring the widest smiles when you reminisce about times past. The end credits sequence on this film captures that in spades.
I could not help but watch something so special be captured so well and simultaneously be amazed by it. Without even realizing it myself, my eyes had softened, my posture had loosened and my mind was clear. All this in the span of a couple of minutes. Watching those pictures slowly move along the screen was just as pure an experience as I had ever had while watching a film.
I am not ashamed to say I scrubbed back to the start of the credits again and watched it 2 more times that day and I keep re-watching that one sequence quite frequently since. I smile every time. That to me is a snapshot of what love is. Not the I want to look like the pretty people, far from it. It is how happy being in love makes you. It is how great the feeling is when you are comfortable enough each other that you can cut loose and be ridiculous or serious or whoever you want to be and still feel loved in return. It is the inimitable sense of comfort, lust, schmaltz, trust, warmth and happiness that only being in a loving relationship can bring about.
The actors in the pictures do not change their clothes or their hair throughout the course of this sequence and I can’t help but feel that was a conscious choice. This whole sequence was not about looking great with great clothes and great hair and great settings, this was about capturing the intimacy between the two leads. Even though the film does a fairly not so great job at it, the final two minutes make up for it all at once.