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Unlikely Love (Comparison Hitch and Beauty and The Beast)

Unlikely Love (Comparison Hitch and Beauty and The Beast) -...

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Unlikely Love: The Varying Paths to Romance “Any guy can sweep any girl off her feet, he just needs the right broom,” proclaims Alex “Hitch” Hitchens in the opening monologue to Hitch , a 2005 romantic comedy. Whether the premise holds true in reality remains unresolved, perhaps forever. In the arena of fiction, though, writers have embraced the concept for centuries. While Hitch ’s viewers may have taken to the film’s feel-good plot, the tale of Albert, an overweight, clumsy accountant who manages to attract the gorgeous, wealthy, famous socialite, Allegra Cole, through a combination of proven seduction techniques and goofy personal charm, the story is far from new. More than 250 years ago, Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont set the standard for beauty-and-the-beast romances with the aptly titled Beauty and the Beast . In the now famous fairy tale, a pretty and compassionate young woman, Beauty, comes to live in the castle of the wealthy, but monstrously ugly and unintelligent, Beast. Although at first off-put by his looks and wit, or lack thereof, Beauty eventually learns to appreciate Beast for his caring and virtuous nature. Immediately after she accepts him, she discovers him to be a handsome, smart prince, cursed to a beastly appearance until a beautiful woman takes his hand in marriage. Both stories, whether through visual or literary methods, showcase that, despite what external appearances suggest love can happen in the most unlikely of circumstances. Romance springs from a connection between two individuals, not from a Hollywood smile or interesting observations. Despite the common theme there are a variety of differences in the paths that bring the stories’ two couples together. The importance placed on guidance, physical appearance, and material wealth to creating true love varies greatly between the text and the film. While in both stories a traditionally unattractive male pursues a beautiful female he adores, in Hitch Albert is handed a roadmap while Beast must make his own way. Shortly after
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meeting Beauty, Beast asks for her hand in marriage. Sure, it is easy to point the finger at Beauty and the Beast ’s time period, the mid-18 th century, as a reason for this gesture. 150 years ago customs were different and perhaps this was normal behavior. According to Hitch, though, Beast’s gruff behavior is caused by something completely unrelated to time, place or setting- Beast’s lack of “game” or ability at interacting with women. To corroborate his view, Hitchens would point to Beauty’s initial refusal. Unlike Beast, Hitch’ s Albert is never shunned in his pursuit of his very own Beauty, the stunning Allegra Cole. Although he too is far from a lothario,
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