Just heard something on a DVD commentary track (yeah, I listen to those) that struck a chord with me. The comment was made by Jay Baruchel, one of the stars and writers of the movie, Goon. He was talking about a scene starring the two romantic leads in the movie and stated that when people read the script they didn't understand what the two characters saw in one another. Like they were looking for some tangible reason they could pinpoint explaining why they got together. Jay's response to this was that the reason was "each other, you idiots! What else is there?"
That the way it works in real life. You see someone, some thing attracts you to them, and you're in. Doesn't have to be something they did that you admire, could just be the way they smile, or their laugh, just something about their being draws you in and makes you want to get to know them better.
Really - I didn't fall for my wife because of some demonstration of a personality trait I admire, I fell for her because of who she is. Just something about the way she moved, the way she talked, her attitude and demenor that I connected with, and was attracted to.
How do you write that into a script?
The reason this hit me is because I have receieved this comment before about my characters. And like Jay stated - just get them together, and you'll see. Put two actors in a scene and let them show you what they see in one another -- how the other person makes them feel.
It's not that a person saves a dog, or gives blood every month, or visits the sick that makes me fall for them -- it's the intangible essence of their being that makes me feel like I want to be with them; have to be with them because that's just how it is.
It's also largely physical, let's be honest. She's nice, she's attractive, there's something about her that I like. The end.
(A better comment regarding this movie would have been why is she attracted to his innocence? We see that's what wins her over, but don't really see what is driving that on her side. Maybe that's what they were really asking, and a fairer question. As always, digging down to the real question is always a pain, but necessary.)