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Michelle Pfeiffer, Batman Returns, and the Danger of Falling in Love at the Movies

Why do we watch movies? Outside of a need for entertainment, or to learn something about the human condition. Speaking for myself, I go to the movies to fall in love.
Falling in love with a character from a film approaches the spiritual, and I can recall my cinematic crushes as vividly as Mr Bernstein could recall the girl with the white parasol. Glorious technicolor beauties with dulcet voices, captured in two dimensions and shared with strangers around the globe.
Selina Kyle Blu RayNicole Kidman in To Die For. Audrey Tautou in Amelie. Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation. Meg Ryan in … well, virtually everything, but especially Flesh and Bone. And Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns.
Mousey Girl in GlassesOh Michelle! Did you have any idea what you were doing when you stepped into Catwoman’s knee-high boots? Did you deliberately set out to inflame my desire and bend me to your will?
You played the mousey secretary-turned feline femme fetale with such relish, such joy, how could I not fall in love with your performance. The forces you unleashed were powerful, maybe too powerful for this viewer.
Feline Femme FataleI was a teenager in 1992, when Batman Returns hit the big screen. Sat in the circle of the Palace Cinema, I wanted to hug Selina Kyle; I wanted to make her smile, I wanted to to save Catwoman. Only by looking back, can I name my pain: heartache. I’m no psychologist, but I’d guess you’re never too young to fall in love and have your heart broken, and Michelle Pfeiffer did it to me in just 126 minutes, one warm July night, in sleepy, small-town Stalybridge.
Crushing on CatwomanOf course the great sadness of falling in love with film characters, is that once the credits roll, it’s all over. You’re free to watch the film again and again, but you’ll only be revisiting a memory. You can only fall in love once, and like the hopeless romantics who exchange brief-but-meaningful glances from across train carriages, you’re doomed to relive those moments time and again.
Nine LivesWe might only fall in love once, but if the string of names I reeled off above are any indication, I might be wrong. Thank you, Michelle, Meg and many others for giving me a reason to go to the movies. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to read the rest of the entries in the blogathon.

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