Ahh, another day in the life of a romance novelist, spending long hours fantasizing about a lingering kiss–that all-important first kiss scene, to be exact. It’s a tough job, but if I need some assistance, I can always find a bit of inspiration on film.
Clark Gable bidding Vivien Leigh farewell on a bridge outside Atlanta, Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint seducing each other on a train–I love to sigh over kisses that hint about forever and last nearly as long. In Learning Curve, I splurged on an I-shouldn’t-be-doing-this-but-I-can’t-help-myself first kiss scene that spread across ten pages.
Do I want to add a touch of go-for-broke passion to that first embrace? In Moonstruck, Nicolas Cage gets his message across when he upends the kitchen table before grabbing Cher. My hero in Maybe, Baby may not have knocked over the kitchen table, but he sweeps everything on it to the floor, pushes the heroine down on its surface, and sprawls over her before helping himself to a greedy gulp of a kiss.
I love Bacall’s sass in To Have and Have Not when she kisses Bogart and then tells him, “It’s even better when you help.” Because my hero and heroine share their first kiss in a wine cellar, I had some fun with the dialogue in The Rancher Needs a Wife:
“A little tart,” he says after she pulls him close for another one, “but not without promise.”
“Bold,” she responds later, as he unbuttons her blouse, “but not without finesse.”
“Full-bodied,” he murmurs as the heroine gets to work on his clothes, “with a surprisingly strong finish.”
Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard got pelted with rain in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster didn’t seem to mind rolling in the surf in From Here to Eternity. Still, I chose a more comfortable–and drier–setting for the first kiss shared by the hero and heroine in my upcoming release, A Perfect Stranger. It’s on a hill in Montmartre, with a view of Paris rooftops on a soft summer evening, and…sigh.
What are your favorite movie kisses? I’d love to hear about them–I’m always looking for some inspiration.