Intimacy is expressed in a variety of ways throughout the film. At the outset of the film, Reed proposes to his girlfriend Morley. Thus, the film begins with one of the deepest expressions of intimacy. Yet, even this deep expression would not be able to keep the two together. In contrast, Felicia and Willy, two high school athletes, express their intimacy by making strong public displays of affection. For example, they frequently make out in public. This appears to be an extremely shallow love and display of intimacy. Edgar and Estelle, in contrast, have long been married and in love, despite Estelle’s affair. Their expressions of intimacy tend to be less passionate, even before Estelle admits her affair. Even so, the love between the couple is obvious and much deeper than the shallow love expressed by Felicia and Willy. There is a very wide range of how couples express intimacy in the film.
Captain Hazeltine identifies a romantic deficiency in Holden Wilson that pertains to Valentine’s Day in particular. She notices that Wilson has a problem with heart-shaped candy. Yet, Wilson does not have a problem with sugar in general. Hazeltine notices that Wilson consumed a substantial amount of maple syrup. Hazeltine’s identification of Wilson’s non-verbal cues continue from there which lead their conversations. She makes the assumption that Wilson has a problem with relationships, especially as it concerns Valentine’s Day.
At the beginning of the film, Reed and Morley are shown getting engaged. Reed tells virtually everyone he encounters. In many ways, this represents Knapp’s bonding stage. The couple share an agreement that they will remain together. The relationship appears indefinite at this point. Yet, the tide quickly turns as Morley changes her mind concerning her acceptance of the engagement proposal. But before this happens, Morley exhibits signs of circumscribing when she refuses to wear the engagement ring Reed give her. Soon, Morley exhibits signs of avoidance before ultimately entering the termination stage. Morley shows signs of avoidance by not wanting to tell anyone about Reed’s proposal, which is completely different from how Reed approached the situation. By the end of the film, Reed being the coming together process with another woman.
Liz displays very high self-awareness in the film, but she operates largely in the hidden area (quadrant three) of the Johari Window. She attempts to balance the many different aspects of her life. She wishes to keep them separate, as she often does not want those in her immediate presence to know the other aspects of her life. Liz, thus, displays very low self-disclosure. Displaying even less self-disclosure is Dr. Harrison Copeland who maintains two separate relationships with two separate women, one of which is his wife. Dr. Copeland’s operates very frequently in the hidden area of the Johari Window as well. In fact, at one point Dr. Copeland operates in the open area in which he exposes himself to Reed, the florist. This turns out very poorly for Dr. Copeland when Reed appears to condemn Dr. Copeland tacitly. In fact, this ultimately results in Dr. Copeland being exposed as a cheater.
Julia Fitzpatrick operates in a very different part of the Johari Window. Specifically, she operates primarily in the blind area of the Johari Window. She is oblivious to Dr. Copeland’s marriage to another woman. Julia believes that Dr. Copeland loves only her. She becomes disillusioned with Dr. Copeland by the end of the film, indicating that she has moved from the blind area to the open area of the Johari Window. Sean Jackson appears to operate in the unknown area of the Johari Window. Jackson believes that he must hide his homosexuality because he is an NFL player. Yet, Jackson may not be fully aware of his own homosexuality or perhaps Jackson has been forced to repress his homosexuality.
In the film, the younger the couple the more immediate and passionate that the love of the couple appears to be. In addition, the young couples in the film are much less aware of the potential negative consequences of love. They seem to view love as involving only positive consequences. Even the newscaster comments on how young couples do not have a clear or realistic understanding of this. This notion is repeated throughout the film. Love tends not to be nearly as deep for young couples in the film, even though it is expressed so vividly. In addition, young couples sometimes even appear to fall into the trap that love follows a linear, one-size-fits-all plan. For example, Grace appears to want to follow a very specific plan for love which involves losing her virginity at a specific time in her relationship. Grace appears callous in this decision. Yet, the film also depicts the many potential negative consequences of love through adult couples. This is expressed heavily in the infidelity and dishonesty in the film. Ironically, the love doctor, Dr. Harrison Copeland, is the worst offender.
Gottman’s four horsemen is used to indicate distress in a relationship. These can be applied to several of the characters in the film. Most notably, the relationship between Dr. Copeland and Julia shows signs of the four horsemen. For example, Dr. Copeland frequently stonewalls Julia when they communicate. He finds excuses not to talk to her. He is even defensive at times when talking to Julia. These signs indicate that there is substantial distress in the relationship. The distress does not come from anything that Julia does, however. Instead, Dr. Copeland is the cause of all of the distress in the relationship. His marriage often leaves him distant from Julia.