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Women tend to be more relational than men and so are more inclined toward deepening the relationship and moving toward marital commitment.

Thus they are more likely to be disappointed when the friendship doesn’t “go” anywhere.

Amber's prospective new residence sits atop an antique shop dubbed Old Fashioned. And talking slowly kindles something between this free-spirited woman and conviction-clad man. and they're also a hard-won response to the wild life he once lived. And, eventually, Clay does learn to accept Amber for who she is, with her completely returning the favor. " Amber probes when Clay first tells her he won't come into the apartment with her. " "Within reason." When their conversation turns to dating, Clay tells her, "I don't believe dating trains us to be good husbands and wives, you know, life partners. When Amber quips early on that not having sex doesn't necessarily make a man a good husband, Clay responds, "No, but learning to control myself might.

Before long, the store's owner, a quietly intense thirtysomething bachelor, is showing Amber up the stairs to check it out. But then Clay Walsh refuses to enter the apartment with her, loitering on the landing outside as she wonders what's up with this landlord. "I made a promise—to never be alone with any woman who's not my wife." Amber misunderstands, thinking Clay's married. (More on that later.) His path proves to be a positive one as he learns to balance his guilt and shame with forgiveness and hope for the future. And with righteousness always on his mind, we see him grapple with and finally overcome the hesitancy he feels about moving forward at all due to his deep fears about making more big mistakes. It's a journey for them that requires emotional risk, a slow forging of trust, offered forgiveness and letting go of past hurts. There's no virtue without forgiveness." When Amber, who has never been to church and wants to experience it with Clay, asks to go, he takes her. I mean, I don't know if you know this, but half of all marriages experience infidelity. Love should come first, not the other way around." He also paraphrases 1 Corinthians , saying, "Your body is a temple." And he philosophizes, "I know making you wait out in the cold wrapped in a blanket seems ridiculous, but a lot of the boundaries that used to be common, that we've thrown away, they're there to protect us." We do eventually hear about Clay's and Amber's checkered pasts.

Phoenix received several awards for his performance in the film, including the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the 1991 Venice Film Festival, Best Male Lead from the Independent Spirit Awards, and Best Actor from the National Society of Film Critics.

Mike, a street hustler, is standing alone on a deserted stretch of highway.

A man and a woman may engage in a friendship that involves a growing emotional intimacy but without the requisite deepening commitment, which results in warped relational patterns, disappointment, and pain. The other extreme is to plunge into a romantic, physically involved relationship that commonly leads to frustration and disappointment, and often results in profound emotional pain.Van Sant had difficulty getting Hollywood financing, and at one point considered making the film on a minuscule budget with a cast of actual street kids.After Van Sant sent copies of his script to Reeves and then Reeves showed it to Phoenix, both agreed to star in the film on each other's behalf.Amber Hewson has a curious way of deciding where she's going to live next: looking at the gas gauge in her car.Every so often, when she's feeling fidgety, she'll just pack up her stuff, hit the open road and drive until the needle points at empty.

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