Casually say “I love you” to an adolescent without inducing a panic attack. No manual exists to equip teens for that first experience, but of course this is the era of Google and so I looked to the internet for guidance.
Then I found the British short film ‘How To Say I Love You.’
When I first watched this short film as a teenage girl, filled with angst and unidentified urges, I praised the romance. Now, seeing it as a woman, I recognize the faults of its idealism and its undertone of misogyny (as the man invades the woman’s privacy and personal space). Outraged by his advances, I was gearing up to punch younger me in the face for loving such garbage, however, I continued watching and saw the woman scope through his vulnerabilities in return. It’s a matter of context that keeps this short film from the deep end of cliche. Yes, it is a cliche as well as a fresh example of how to express one’s love.
This exchange between strangers values the simplicity of love. Those who know the song “More Than Words”, by Extreme, might be ahead of this analysis and ready to fully appreciate this piece of art. (I highly encourage that you listen to that song in case you are unfamiliar with it.) Without the title of this piece directing us, though the innocence of their interaction is beautiful, the message would be incomplete. Absent of title, this film may read as a “boy meets girl” love story, pretty basic. Neither of the characters ever say the words, but through observation there is love in his attentiveness, in her willingness, and especially in their weighted silence. We are gifted with a glimpse of what could occur when people are open to each other.
Kudos to this title for saving the day and the creators of this piece for giving us love without words. Love is possible even among strangers, once one is willing to come out of themselves and into the word. Take a look for yourself