Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Insta-Love on the big screen

What is insta-love?

Love at first sight aka Insta-Love is a common trope used in both literature and film where a character feels romantically attracted to a complete stranger at first sight.

These authors say it best:

“Colpo di fulmine. The thunderbolt, as Italians call it. When love strikes someone like lightning, so powerful and intense it can’t be denied. It’s beautiful and messy,cracking a chest open and spilling their soul out for the world to see. It turns a person inside out, and there’s no going back from it. Once the thunderbolt hits, your life is irrevocably changed.” 
― J.M. Darhower, Sempre

“I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realized that somehow the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you.” 

― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

Do you believe in insta-love?

Insta-attraction? Yes. But insta-love? Not really. But let's agree to disagree shall we?

Again these authors sum it up perfectly:

“Love is the strangest, most illogical thing in the world.” 
― Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

“And when her eyes met mine, I felt something click, like a key turning in a lock. Believe me, I'm no romantic, and while I've heard about love at first sight, I've never believed in it, and I still don't. But even so, there was something there, something recognizably real, and I couldn't look away.” 
― Nicholas Sparks, Dear John
Today I'll be showcasing some movies both animated and live action that use this trope. Surprisingly, there seems to be a LOT of movies where the protagonists experiences instantaneous attraction for their love interests. And despite the unrealistic nature of this concept a lot of people(myself included) seem to ADORE these movies.

West Side Story (1961):

This American play inspired by Romeo an Juliet(another great example of insta-love) is probably the best example of insta-love because the protagonists Tony and Maria fall in love with each other the moment they set eyes on one another at a dance.

Scarface (1983)
In this classic mob film, Tony instantly falls in love with beautiful Elvira when he sees her on the elevator.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
In this modernization of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, Cameron falls in love with Bianca the first time he sees her, although she doesn't see him.
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Tom sees Summer for the first time at work and promptly decides that he's in love with her.
The Notebook (2004)
Noah falls in love with Allie at a carnival upon seeing her for the first time.
Mean Girls (2004)
Cady first sees Aaron in math class she instantly falls in love with him.
Imagine Me & You 
This 2005 British-American comedy-romance film centres on the relationship between Rachel and Luce who meet on Rachel's wedding day.

 Cinderella (1950)
When the prince first sees Cinderella he falls instantly in love with her. 
Aladdin (1992)
When Aladdin sees princess Jasmine for the first time at the bazaar he can't help but fall in love with her.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
 When Princess Ariel first lays eyes on Prince Eric she instantly falls in love with him.

So tell me what do you think of insta-love? Have you ever had any experiences with it?
Did I miss any must-watch insta-love movies?

“The world needs more love at first sight.” 

― Maggie Stiefvater
Don't forget to stop by A Novel Idea for more 'Insta-Love 101' posts!


  1. I don't believe in instalove, to me love is much to complex a feeling for it to happen in a snap moment. And I detest it when writers use it in their work as to me its a lazy way of writing. I do have a thing for the Disney films though, that's my childhood right there. (I probably would of fallen for Prince Eric the moment I saw him playing with his dog too)! ;)

    Great post! :)

  2. I agree, I think there's insta-lust/like but I'm not so sure I believe in insta-love and it's so overused! Though, I don't mind it in Disney movies ;)

    p.s Now following you via GFC & Bloglovin' :D

  3. I can't say that I believe in insta-love,but I think it's really romantic.Maybe when you see the right person,you'll feel it too,who knows?

  4. It's such a mood thing for me, sometimes I rage against it and other times I'm swooning and need to be picked up off the floor. I don't think I mind it as much in movies perhaps because I find it easier to get caught up in it or maybe because I'm conditioned after years of watching the same thing in different guises over and over and over and over and over again! ;)

  5. I'm with you - I believe in insta-attraction and insta-lust, but how is that really LOVE. I think you really need to get to know a person before it can truly be love.

  6. This is a great post because it made me realize something I've never considered before. I think we see a lot more insta-love in YA novels because teenagers are more prone to it. So many teen movies have that moment where the boy see the girl or vice versa and are instantly in love. Because teenagers don't really know what love is (not fully until the experience it a little). So every crush is madly, wildly in love. And we totally believe it - because we know that's how teenagers are.

    But when adults read YA they don't believe because adults know the difference (more) between infatuation and love.



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