Garry Marshall Gave Us The Gift of Optimism In Love and Romance

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

Garry Marshall Inspired Audiences In Love And Romance by Jackie Pilossoph for Chicago Tribune Media Group

When I was a fifth-grader, there was no one I envied more than Pinky Tuscadero. After all, Pinky was the Fonz’s girlfriend! What I didn’t know back then was that Pinky and Fonz’s romance in Garry Marshall’s unforgettable ’70s sitcom, “Happy Days,” was just a glimpse of what the brilliant writer, director, actor and producer had in store for TV and movie audiences over the next five decades.

Marshall, who died recently at the age of 81, seemed to have a deep love for tenderness, romance, humor and happy endings (with the exception of his movie, “Beaches,” that had me crying for an hour) and it showed in all of his work.


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In honor of the late Marshall, here are a few of my favorite scenes from his movies. All of these were either written, directed or produced by Garry Marshall:

‘Overboard’ (1987)

There are so many wonderful scenes in this darling movie about a spoiled, wealthy woman (played by Goldie Hawn) who gets amnesia after falling off her yacht and ends up living with a beer-guzzling, blue-collar single dad (played by Kurt Russell). Marshall offers up a touching ending when the two jump overboard in the middle of the Atlantic and swim into each other’s arms. He tops it off with Russell’s character asking, “What can I possibly give you that you don’t already have?” Hawn’s character answers, “A little girl.”

‘Runaway Bride’ (1999)

Following their smashing successful rom-com, “Pretty Woman,” Richard Gere and Julia Roberts team up again in this really sweet movie about Ike (played by Gere), a newspaper columnist who chases a story about a woman (played by Roberts) who has left a string of fiances at the altar. In true Marshall style, the two end up falling in love. One of the best scenes is when Maggie says to Ike, “When I was walking down the aisle, I was walking toward somebody who didn’t have any idea who I really was. But you – you knew the real me.” Ike replies, “Yes, I did.”

‘Valentine’s Day’ (2010)

With dozens of great actors and hilarious heartwarming storylines, “Valentine’s Day” is a sweet movie that captures different perspectives of the holiday that some people love and some find repulsive. An absolutely hilarious scene occurs when a scorned, angry woman (played by Jennifer Garner) goes to an anti-Valentine’s Day party, takes a baseball bat and starts beating the heart-shaped pinata as hard as she can. But at the end of the movie, Garner’s character tells her 10-year-old student, “You’re the best, most special Valentine’s date I’ve ever had.” In true Marshall style, sweetness and sentimentality wins over bitterness.



‘Raising Helen’ (2004)

This is an adorable movie about a single, fun-loving party girl named Helen (played byKate Hudson), who gains custody of three young kids. A laugh-out-loud moment is when Helen lights up a cigarette in front of the three kids, and one of them says, “How are you going to be able to raise us if you’re dead?” Helen replies, “This?” (pointing to the cigarette), “This won’t kill you for years.”

‘Beaches’ (1988)

Anyone who has ever had a true best friend can appreciate this tender, sweet drama about two girls from completely different backgrounds who become lifelong friends, enjoying blissful times and sharing in each other’s sorrows. There is a scene in “Beaches” where CC (played by Bette Midler) and Hillary (played by Barbara Hershey) have a big fight in the middle of a New York department store. “You’re so jealous you can hardly breathe,” CC says. It makes you so uncomfortable and sad, you want to call your best friend and tell her how much you love her.

‘Pretty Woman’ (1990)

Probably the most famous and well-loved Garry Marshall movie, “Pretty Woman” is a love story about Edward, a wealthy businessman (played by Richard Gere) who falls for Vivian, a Hollywood Boulevard prostitute (played by Julia Roberts). The movie that made Roberts a household name has that fairytale ending it deserves: Edward climbs up a fire escape despite his fear of heights to rescue Vivian. When he reaches the top he asks, “What happens when he climbs up and rescues her?” Vivian answers, “She rescues him right back.”


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Marshall said in a television interview in 2010, “The type of work I do, you know, it’s called sentimental.” The gifts his work leaves behind? Loveable, memorable characters, famous movie quotes and scenes so touching they made us laugh and cry at the same time. But most of all…(Click here to read the rest of the article, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.)

Like this article? Check out my article, “The Perfect Kiss: Which one Defines Yours?”


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    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

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