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Friday, April 23, 2021

Amy Yang’s Tips on Reading, Writing and Portraying Opposites

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On Wednesday night, Mr. Yang was munching on his last slices of the day. While finishing up second- and third-grade homework, he had watched Netflix’s romantic comedy “Love” with his family at their Brooklyn home. Once the evening was over, he studied for his history exam and prepared for his daily poetry-writing lessons. The rom-com had given him a few ideas for his homework, such as more English, while “Love” provided more of a subconscious background for his comments.

In the movie, the scientists Jimmy and Vivian Huang from Puerto Rico are new in New York City. They enjoy each other’s company. However, they are continuously complaining of common problems that may prevent them from having a long-term relationship. One such problem is Jimmy’s reaction to vibrators. When Vivian asks him why he does not use them, Jimmy insults her for being a “nymphomaniac.” Then, in response to her reply, Vivian withholds affection, and in the process, Jimmy chastises himself. These remarks might raise questions among students who see pornography in a romantic context, a factor which could make them feel powerless. In a situation where “helplessness” is a problem, ignorance of porn could actually cause more harm than good for them.

“Love” had some great romantic scenes. Along with the sparks flying when Jimmy and Vivian are around each other, there are romantic gestures from her grandfather, Dr. Shao (Jeffrey Tambor). Viewers will find the elderly man to be, in short, extremely charming. Jimmy describes his grandfather as “the most loving, kind, and patient man that you could ever meet,” and Mr. Yang describes Dr. Shao as “brilliant, but extremely self-centered.”

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