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My Fair Lady *IS* a love story! mwahaha! 
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:36 pm
Posts: 1
Post MFL is a love story; Pygmalion is not - sort of
I agree

MFL *IS* a love story.
The lyrics of "I could have danced all night" and "I've grown accustomed to her face" leave no doubt about this.

But perhaps MFL is not a "love story" in the conventional manner that phrased is used. Or perhaps MFL does not have the conventional ending to a conventional love story.

Many on here have acknowledged that Henry and Liza have some sort of feelings for each other, whether friendship, affection,...and that these feelings are mutual.

Yet we hear the refrain (on this forum) that they were not "in love." Okay, what does "in love" mean? A large part of it is infatuation and a type of soaring above the clouds feelings by being around the other person--when the relationship is at an immature and/or beginning level. (True, long term relationships may have, say, snippets, or moments of this "in love"-ness, yet being "in love" is infatuation and/or unrealistic, and/or non-lasting.)

So, even if we grant that Liza and Henry were never "in love," something I would dispute based on two or three things (first the song lyrics; second the inevitability of the audience to *want* them to be in love and to want MFL =and= Pygmalion to be a "in-love story"; and third, Shaw's battle against this popular interpretation--which he finally had to kow tow to in the movie), even if we grant that Henry and Liza were not ever "in love", this does not mean MFL is not a love story.

Where does friendship (especially between the opposite sexes) end and affection begin? Where does affection end and infatuation begin? I would suggest that in such a relationship between Liza and Henry, that both are experiening feelings for the other that are (1) unexpected, (2) unique, as in they hadn't felt these kind of feelings for another person before. Thus, in MFL at least (if not in Pygmalion), the two are processing their feelings for each other, and whether they define it one day as Friendly-like or whether one day one sings that the memory of the other is like breathing in and breathing out (and that is "in-love-ness!") or one sings that "my heart took flight...when he began to dance with me," MFL is meant to be a romantic love story (based on these songs alone).

And yes, some may hate the songs and their lyrics, but they are part and parcel of MFL and the film cannot be interpreted by ignoring them.

Also, even in Pygmalion we have the "I have feelings more than friendship" because I am willing to get down on my hands and knees to retrieve a ring from the ashes of a fireplace, even when the person who threw it there just insulted me.

The unconventional ending of MFL (unconventional as in unconventional ending to a love story) is *because* the film makers adamantly stuck to the text of Shaw (whether Pygmalion as written or Pygmalion the movie) and tried to turn a non-love story (Pygmalion) into a love story (MFL) in as close to as conventional sense as possible.

It is not the knock-me-down-dead-am-so-in-love-with-you (although the songs have elements of that), but hey we have feelings for each other, let's explore them and see where they go--if anywhere. Or even more, hey we are friends of the opposite sex and we are attracted to each other, let's pursue that. There can be no holding up of Pygmalion as the "proper" way to interpret either MFL or the characters of Liza and Henry ("the two with Pickering are going to live as three bachelors"), because Pygmalion, while the source for MFL, is not the "reel guide" to the movie. The movie is the movie. MFL is MFL. Songs and all.

The love affair, the relationship that Henry and Liza have for each other in MFL is much stronger than two high schoolers professing their undying love for each other.

Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:55 pm
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