I could gush all day about the 2012 film adaptation of Les Misérables. It's everything a movie musical should be. The film itself is like a love letter from the director (Tom Hooper) to the musical's original creators that says: Your work is perfection on stage. Let's do it justice on film. And he succeeded.
But alas, this isn't a review, so I'll refrain from gushing and introduce instead three of the film's most poignant love lessons:
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1. Check yourself. The next time you get all self-pitying about your love life (Why hasn't he texted me yet?!), consider a small dose of Les Mis. Once you hear Fantine's (played by Anne Hathway) gutwrenching tale of lost love in the show-stopping ballad "I Dreamed A Dream", your petty problems will fall instantly into perspective ... that is, unless you also lost your job as an 1823 French factory worker when you were outed for having an illegitimate child and were subsequently relegated to a life of prostitution that consumed your soul and ultimately ended your life. No? Okay then.
2. Love isn't fair. What better way to tug at an audiences' heartstrings than to tell them a tale of unrequited love? Among the all-time saddest of these stories comes from Éponine (Samantha Barks), who pours her heart out about her feelings for Marius (Eddie Redmayne) while walking down a cobblestone street alone in the rain singing "On My Own." And while the drama of 'Ponine's storyline is amplified by the film's overall context of poverty and revolution, it remains sadly realistic as well. After all, who among us hasn't felt the sting of unreciprocated affection at some point in our lives?
3. Don't sell yourself short. Got feelings for someone who's "way out of your league?" Don't give up hope. Just look at Marius and Cosette (Amanda Seyfried). One day she's just a poor, orphan sweeping the floor of an inn, and the next, she's married to Marius, the French aristocrat-turned-revolutionary who bears a striking resemblance to Prince Harry of Wales. I mean, sure, she's stunningly beautiful and has the warbling voice of an angel. Still, theirs is the story of an unlikely couple making it work despite all odds being stacked against them. So, the next time that insecure adolescent in your head tells you you aren't good enough for some guy, snag a little inspiration from Cosette.
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What are your favorite love lessons from Les Mis? Sound off in the comments!
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