Its one of the greatest romantic endings. His best friend has committed suicide because he thought he had got a girl into trouble. Her mother tells her that these officer cadets always leave their girls behind on qualification. It happened to her. Richard Gere is almost chucked out the Navy. The training sarge is the biggest bastard but really he has a heart of gold. Debra Winger looks like she has loved and lost. With sailor boy gone, its a life time in the factory with nothing but a few memories to keep her going.
Then its our Richard,on his Triumph Bonneville on his way to an Oscar. The uniform is so white its almost saint like, the rough diamond has qualified, he is on his way. You know the film is ending,soft and lovely Debra is in the paper mill. She fights back the tears, surrounded by women who have had their hearts broken by officer cadets. Richard arrives. The music revs into Up Where You Belong.
Oh God,not a dry pair of underpants in the house. Y ou have to have tear ducts of clay not to shed a tear. He scoops her in his arms. They don’t make films like this any more. Oh God why can’t I join the Navy, why can’t I have a white uniform, why can’t I have a girl in a factory.
Cut to real life. Commander Michael Ward is way beyond being an officer cadet. He is married with kids. He commands a nuclear sub. He defends freedom. While we sleep he remains vigilant. The cruel sea above but US Navy watches and waits. Tonight all quiet,but tomorrow who knows.Like many sailors Commander Ward is often away and plays away. A girl in very port.
He gets hooked up with a babe on an internet dating service. She is proud to do her patriotic bit for an officer. He is not the Light Brigade,she doesn’t charge. She loves.Whether he is a gentleman we shall find out. Nature is a beast. She gets pregnant. He tells her to abort. She loses the baby anyway. He is moved to another base. He wants closure. He may defend freedom but he not so big on his honour. If the film is made the tune might be Take My Love Away.
The Master and Commander fakes a note to his mistress that he had died. So that will end it. But she being a good girl goes round to his old house to offer condolences. The new owner says the Commander isn’t dead but just moved. The game is up. Commander loses job and is being kicked out of navy.
As the toast in the mess room always went.”Here is to wives and girl friends,may they never meet.” Not so easy in this digital age.