Money Can't Buy Love

     A movie entitled Can't Buy Me Love, that came out sometime in the eighties, reminds me of Emily Brontė's Wuthering Heights, filmed in 1939 by director William Wyler. In Wuthering Heights, Catherine loved Heathcliff for who he was, just as Cindy in Can't Buy Me Love loved Miller once she knew what he was really like. For Catherine, money was more important than love, so she married someone else, whereas Cindy realized that love was more important than money and eventually ended up with Miller. In both situations the simple fact that money cannot buy love seems to be an issue.

     At a young age, Catherine (Sarita Wooten on screen) loved Heathcliff (Rex Downing) for himself; but, as they grew older, she began to realize that she would not be happy with him because he did not have the amount of money to treat her like a princess. So instead of following her heart, Catherine followed money and married Linton (played by David Niven). Once Heathcliff (Laurence Oliver) acquired his money and threw it in Catherine's face, she could not stand to see him wealthy without her. Eventually, she died, regretting the choice she made in life.

     In Can't Buy Me Love, Cindy started out believing that Miller was just the dork that lived next door and bribed her to date him. She found that he was the kind of guy she needed; on that would treat her right. Even though the point in their dating was to make Miller popular, they began to care about each other for what was on the inside. After the bribe was over though, they were not friends because he had tried to buy her love. Later realizing that love was more important than money, she took him back, and the movie had its traditional happy ending.

     Catherine and Cindy are similar in the sense that they both realized money could not buy love. What each of the women valued more demonstrates how they are completely opposite. Catherine and Cindy both experienced money, first then love. Cindy came from a rich family, however, and was searching for love, whereas, a less-well-off Catherine fell in love and then searched for money.

     The issue of values, whether money or love came first, is the reality. Who is to say that, if Catherine had waited for Heathcliff to become a wealthy gentleman, that they would not have married and lived happily? Or, who is to say that, even if Heathcliff had married Catherine, that he would not have still have sought revenge on those who had treated him badly when he was poor? No one can really know for sure. And if Can't Buy Me Love had been a novel rather than a movie, it might not have had the traditional happy ending. In the either case, the simple fact is that money cannot buy love or happiness.

Allison Brandow

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