I love Pirates of the Caribbean. There are lots of reasons to love that movie, especially for someone like me who's grown up in SoCal and loves Disneyland. I love the performances, I love the fact that it's quotable, I love the fact that it's full of beautiful people. I love the pageantry of that kind of costume drama. I also love the pageantry of that kind of story. Pirates has all sorts of wonderful things that an adventure love story should have. It has an exotic setting, in a world of breathtaking beauty where real seediness and evil lie beneath the veneer of civilization. It has the shy, girl-awed hero obsessed with his identity and the improvement thereof, whose innocence and good looks hide true grit and depths of strength he could never have guessed. It has a beautiful woman who is full of grit and power herself, and is a fitting partner for the hero instead of just a love interest. It has a dashing antihero with a heart of gold who gets to form a bond of true camaraderie with hero and heroine by the end. It has the stodgy but noble red herring lover, who doesn't get the girl but nevertheless proves himself a good man and true. It has a plot which shows forth, through peril and drama, the true colors of its characters - and which shows forth the centrality of love to peril and character, for love also shows forth the true colors of character, and without love peril is not worth facing, and so character is not shown forth.
These are the things that a boy dreams of - a world of beauty, a chance to face peril and not have his soul found hollow, true and trusty comrades and among them a woman to love and be loved by. These are the things that make my heart sing. They are what make Pirates of the Caribbean a film I love far beyond its merits as a piece of cinema.
And they are what make it a fitting start to a moonlit walk with Esther Selene.