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Good Question - "How Much Do You Love Me?"

by Shen Shi'an, The Buddhist Channel, July 27, 2006

Dharma-Inspired Movie Review: www.combientumaimes.com

Singapore -- In the semi-romantic French comedy of errors "How Much Do You Love Me?", a seductive prostitute thinks she is falling in love with an ordinary man, who had struck an extraordinary fortune in a lottery.

But it all began when he proposed her to live with him for 100,000 euros a month. She confuses love for money with love for him, to the extent that she thought all she really wants is a real love relationship. She was tired of being with too many men who cannot commit, while he was tired of being single.

When she later discovers the man to have lied about being rich, so as to win her love, she is realises her confusion and uncertainty. Suddenly, her love for him seemed to have had an invisible price tag all along. Then she further realises that she does indeed want true love, that it really has a “price” that money cannot buy. The couple realises they had “bought” free of charge for themselves, literally priceless love - but not before a string of hilarious life-changing misadventures.

But as with many western movies, happiness is often cinematically portrayed to be equal to sex, and sex in turn equated to love. Of course, sex is not a must for spiritual happiness, and sex is not always an expression of love.

That is exactly why True Happiness cannot be physical, just as true love needs no physical intimacy of the carnal kind. The male protagonist, with a weak heart that almost demands his life whenever excited by the girl, surely means that being "high" is not only not True Happiness, it can be fatal when experienced to the extreme! True Happiness requires the Middle Path of equanimity instead.

Spin-off thoughts from the movie title — How much do you love your love(s)? Is it quantifiable? Is your love conditioned? By what conditions? Is it becoming unconditional? If not, why not?

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