Love Affair : If you could paint than I can walk

If you could paint than I can walk

It was late last night and I was tired from Thanksgiving but I missed the meaning of these last lines. Wasn't he always a painter? Just seeing if other people were disappointed in the ending.

Re: If you could paint than I can walk

He was always a painter, but he stopped painting when he was younger. After her met her, he revived his love of painting and became successful with them. Irene Dunne is saying that if Charles Boyer can get back that part of himself, she can also get back that part of herself and one day walk again.

Re: If you could paint than I can walk

I thought this was a little abrupt and puzzling too. I wasn't sure if the meaning was, as the other poster described, speaking of regaining that part of oneself which they had lost...or if it meant his painting would bring money for her to have the operation that she discussed with her former fiancé (when she refused to allow him to pay for it). I could have it completely wrong, though.

Re: If you could paint than I can walk

Boyer does a quick double take when Dunne says that; coming from anyone else, it could be taken as demeaning, but then he immediately understands her meaning. Beautifully done.

Re: If you could paint than I can walk

Boyer says repeatedly - both to be utterly candid with this woman with whom he's fallen in love - but also in some amazement as he says it "I've never worked a day in my life". He's gotten by on looks and charm - and seems virtually a gigolo. Much of the film I think is about their efforts to improve themselves - to be worthy of each other. The very reason they wait six months to meet at the top of the Empire State Building is so that he could begin a career, one by which he could himself make a living - at painting - and presumably support her if they married.

He had been a dilettante, gave up things that were difficult, required much effort - now over the six months after he disembarks, he's really going to try - so that they can have a future together. He has almost no success in New York - he winds up painting billboards - but when he returns to his grandmother's home - he finds himself and works hard - and returns with an entire gallery of paintings which sell well.

By the time they see one another - it's 1.5 years after they left the ship. He's become a painter - he can plan a future - and so she makes her remark when it's clear that their future will be together.

Re: If you could paint than I can walk

Its speaking to her conception that she cannot be with him unless she is not handicapped. Initially she wouldnt make contact with him because she was in such a "disgraceful" condition. Then when he does make contact with her, she's still resolved to leave the relationship broken, with him going away, until he realizes what the situation actually is. (She would never have revealed it.)

Then, she can only agree to be with him, if in her mind she will be an abled person. If he can paint, then she can walk (even though it's certainly not a certainty that she'll be able to do this). But she simply cant face the idea of being with him as an differently abled (handicapped) person, so for her to be with him, she needs to frame her future in a form of magical thinking: Of course she will walk, since he now paints.
Top