Love And Thunder Moments That Are Pure, Undistilled Taika Waititi

Early on in “Thor: Love and Thunder,” Starlord (Chris Pratt) gives Thor a piece of advice: find someone who makes you feel sh***y. It seems counterintuitive, but he’s basically telling the god of Thunder not to close himself off to love out of fear over how bad heartbreak might feel. Later, when Thor and Jane finally talk through their feelings, the god repeats the phrase as a declaration, telling Jane he wants to feel sh***y with her. After he explains himself, he admits he does feel that way, and she admits she feels scared. They kiss anyway.

This moment, and Jane and Thor’s romance as a whole, bolster a sweet but vulnerability-averse take on love and relationships that dates all the way back to Waititi’s first film, “Eagle vs. Shark.” The awkward romance movie stars Jemaine Clement and Loren Horsley as a pair of geeky lovers who have trouble connecting thanks to Clement’s character’s idiosyncrasies and family trauma. 2014’s “What We Do in the Shadows,” which Clement co-wrote and co-directed, also features a lead who’s worried about getting his heart broken: Viago (Waitit), a vampire who’s been daydreaming about the same woman for nearly a century. All of Waititi’s stories seem to conclude that love alone won’t fix someone’s problems, but that it sure could make us all happier along the way.

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