Five Fictional Couples That Will Tumble Your Heart

This week, to celebrate (or revile!) Valentine’s Day the Debs are talking all about love. True love, real love, fictional love, breakups, relationships, star-crossed sorts of love.

To me, one of the most amazing things about books is that a good story will truly move you. At a very young age I found myself drawn to stories of incredible love and as I have grown older, it’s often those stories that still move me the most, particularly when the story is about love lost. To celebrate Valentines Day, I give you my five favorite fictional couples.

King Arthur & Guinevere

When I was 12 I read Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. It was a book that shaped so much of my early ideas of love, of religion, of feminisim and of story itself. Within the book there is deep love, and incredible betrayal, told from the point of view of the women of Camelot. It is a big book, but I remember that it wasn’t big enough for me. I never wanted the story to end. I have ever been smitten with the story of Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot, ever since.

Rhett & Scarlett

I have to confess that I saw Gone With the Wind on television long before I ever read the book. I think that this is one of the rare instances where both the movie and the book are stellar. The casting of the movie was perfect and the on-screen chemistry between Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable still resonates with viewers today. And while I can’t ever picture the characters as anyone other than those who played them in the movie, the book still reaches into your heart and rolls it over and over, wrenching you with the “My dear, I don’t give a damn (‘Frankly’ was added for the movie).”  And it leaves you hanging, wondering if she’ll be able to get him back.

Almásy & Katharine

Michael Ondaatje’s novel, The English Patient, is a gorgeous and masterfully wrought story of forbidden love. I wept at so many points in this novel and again when I saw the film, which differed a bit from the book, but still captured the spirit of the war-torn lovers Almásy and Katharine. She is married to another, but their passion is impossible to ignore. I’ve seen the film twice now and have decided that I never want to see it again. The memory of the book and the incredible story told on film just wrecks me–completely wrecks me.

The Doctor & Rose


The only non-bookish couple on the list (although there are many books that have resulted from the BBC Doctor Who series), The Doctor and Rose win the prize for the couple that shredded my heart in such a way that I’m not sure it will ever be the same again. That their relationship could have that sort of effect on me and millions of others is a testament to the writers of the series. She was his ultimate companion and he was a flawed, unwilling lover. With The Doctor living forever and Rose doomed to a human death, he struggled to protect his hearts from what would inevitably be heartbreak. Or was it?

Buttercup & Wesley 

Since all the other love stories I mention end in heartbreak, I thought it a good idea to close with the couple I consider to be the ultimate love story. The Princess Bride is probably the only movie that I know nearly all by heart. I’ve seen it at least a hundred, if not more times. And the book itself is also delightful. Nothing can tear them apart. Not the ocean, not pirates, not the R.O.U.S.s in the Fire Swamp, or even Prince Humperdinck.

Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for awhile.


Deb Elise’s Cheese-Filled Valentine’s Day!

Musical Hearts


In honor of the great occasion, I’m going to share my favorite cheesy love songs!  I am a HUGE cheese-meister, and the only thing that makes me slightly less self-conscious about the bulk of these songs is that several of them have already been re-done by Glee.  And if Will Schuester loves these songs enough to choose them for New Directions, how can they be bad?

(Shhh.  I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that about Mr. Shue and New Directions being fictitious.   They’re the best!  And they’re so going to Nationals this year!  And OMG, how cute are Kurt and Blaine???)

Now here they are, in alphabetical order…

1. All My Loving, The Beatles Not cheesy, really — this one’s a classic.  But it’s so happy and upbeat you feel like you’re proclaiming your love at an Up With People rally.

2. Can’t Fight This Feeling, REO Speedwagon Even before Finn crooned it on Glee, Horton, the Mayor, and the rest of the Horton Hears a Who cast made me roar out loud by randomly belting this one out.

3. Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons The key to this one is the way it starts out soft and gentle, then Frankie belts it at the chorus with “Oh pretty bay-bee…”  I dare you not to scream along in the car.

4. Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart, Elton John and Kiki Dee You have no IDEA how happy I was when Finn and Rachel made this their duet!  And did you notice that in “Wrap Her Up,” Elton’s 1985 duet with George Michael, he gives a shout out to Kiki Dee?  Mm-hm.  Listen again.  It’s right towards the end.  You’ll hear it.

5. Hey Deenie, Shaun Cassidy Not.  Even.  Kidding.  When I was a writers’ assistant on Saved by the Bell: The New Class, the Script Supervisor (I still refer to him as “Immediate Superior”) and I shared an office and blasted Shaun Cassidy: Greatest Hits every day.  Impossible to stay seated at your desk when this song is on.  Impossible.

6. Honey Honey, Abba Again, another group I can’t not sing along to, much to the dismay of my daughter when they played an entire Abba album while we were ice skating with her friends.  This particular song has the oh-so-charming back and forth between Benny/Bjorn and Agneta/Anna-Frid.  How could they ever have split up???

7. I Want Your Sex, George Michael Not cheesy, badass. Do you remember how badass it was when it came out?  George wanted our sex!  And I must admit, I wanted his too.  Big time.  Saw him in concert a couple years ago and I gotta tell you… I kinda still do.

8. Love Story, Taylor Swift I love Taylor Swift, but let’s be honest.  Her songs?  Super super cheesy.  This one might be the cheesiest, and I adore every word.  I actually get chills at the part where he kneels down and pulls out the ring.  No really, I’m that much of a dork.

9. Silly Love Songs, Paul McCartney (okay, Wings) Ryan Murphy again saves me.  I’ve loved this song since it came out, despite the fact that it’s hopelessly uncool to enjoy anything Paul did with Wings.  But now that Blaine and the Warblers did it?  I’m practically on the cutting edge of hip.

10. You’re the One That I Want, Olivia Newton John and John Travolta Wow… this is the second week in the row I’ve cited an Olivia Newton John movie.  But while there was some ridicule over Xanadu (I’m lookin’ at you, Stagliano), I defy anyone to deny the glory that is Grease.  And this song?  The ultimate show-stopper, and a great way to get your Valentine to “tell me about it… stud.”

Bet you’re ready to make a mix tape now, right?

Before you do, share with me — what are your favorite cheesy love songs?  I’ve got lots of space on my iPod, and Valentine’s Day is still young!

Sending cheesy love to all,


Deb Elise