There’s an age-old promise “men” have relished making to the women they’re trying to bang on the reg. That promise, of course, was immortalized by Aladdin when he told Jasmine, “I can show you the world.” But before the magic carpet ride that ruined most little girls’ perception of travel, there was Summer With Monika–an Ingmar Bergman movie that, for one of the first times in cinema history, painted the woman as the adventurer/wanderluster, the one seeking to run away from it all and avoid responsibility. Released in 1953, only Roger Vadim’s …And God Created Woman three years later would paint a similar picture of how the female seduces the “man” for her own escapist benefit. The “man” is not her imprisoner, but her ticket to freedom–though “men” view marrying a woman as quite the opposite.
The reason that this archetype is portrayed so sparsely in film, of course, is because women aren’t often this way. And they are certainly not the ones making promises about how getting away from it all, eschewing all encumbrances, etc. is the ticket to fortifying romance. On the contrary, women tend toward the pragmatic belief that to stay in one place–to nest, as it were–is to build a lasting relationship. And maybe this is for good reason. Because any woman who has ever attempted to go on the journey with her so-called beloved, to uproot it all for the promise of living on love has usually been forced to return to her origin city with her tail between her legs. But at least she has something in between her legs–most “men” who promise to take you away from it all do not.