VIGNETTES — Best Onscreen Kiss

When Eric Roberts (Teddy) kisses Sissy Spacek (Nita) in the film “Raggedy Man,” you’re ready for it. By now you’ve experienced the tension between the characters, and are hoping they express their natural affection for one another.

I watched “Raggedy Man” a couple weeks ago. It’s a 1981 movie that takes place in a small Texas town during World War II. Nita is a divorced mother of two boys, and Teddy is a sailor passing through before he goes to serve.

The two are charming characters, and the chemistry between them resonates. Their acknowledging romantic moment takes place in the kitchen while they’re sharing a beer. A candle is among the yellow light that illuminates the room, and the radio plays with the music and sound-quality of the era.

The kiss is a bit of a surprise, well the prelude to it is. Teddy orchestrates the perfect lead-in. The kiss is so sensual onscreen, we viewers taste it.

And we’re reminded that moments like this are possible off-screen, laid so perfectly when the hearts are involved.

It’s the best onscreen kiss I can recall. It alone is worth purchasing the movie. Of course, that’s not accurate. The kiss is memorable because the characters are believable, and their relationship is believable. We all know that there are Nitas and Teddys out there, and we hope they all find their way to that kiss.

I’m not a movie critic. I applaud this as a writer and a romantic. I’m wary of movies where the attraction between the heroine and hero is not believable; and I end up wondering why they bother to peek at and prod one another, and the whole movie feels like one big disconnect.

Actually, as a writer and romantic, I’m very selective as to movies I watch. The ones that grab me make a lasting impression. If I were to host an awards system, I’d span the decades of the big screen, and one category would definitely be: “Best First Kiss.”

And the nominees are ….



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