Wonderful, Beautiful, Magical Essay 1

Republisher’s Note: This article is one of my reposts. I must say I love Manny. If you have any doubt of that look at how much time I spend on this blog. 🙂 But that doesn’t mean that I love them blindly. I love the Manny church wedding. I love the dress. I love a lot of the little bits and let’s face they’re magic, but the best soap wedding ever? No. The most real soap opera wedding ever? No. But it’s still great, check it out. I also added the photo. I added the links first to Lucy and Alan-Michael and to a short report on their wedding. A lot of their fans didn’t like it because they felt that Philip’s return overshadowed their wedding, but honestly I enjoyed it. Watch the Church Wedding

From Rustle of the Sheets

“Wonderful, Beautiful, Magical”
“(The Wedding … Reception … Night Episodes)
By Jennifer Hallmark

I’m used to soap weddings in general being a disappointment for one reason or another. And I’m used to the weddings of my favorite couples (Lucy and Alan-Michael, also of Guiding Light, being an outstanding example) being horrific or, if I’m lucky, merely blah! The wedding of Danny Santos and Michelle Bauer was a complete surprise in this regard and for a few other reasons as well.

I like Manny more than any other couple in almost three years. Heck, I absolutely love Danny and Michelle. They are sexy — downright combustible, dangerous, opposites in some ways, but so alike in others, and counteracting all of their spice is a sweet, comforting beauty to many of their interactions — especially on Danny’s part. Because I so adore them, I assumed that their wedding would be a complete waste of time and effort — as per my experiences thus far with my couple’s weddings.

I am so pleased to report how wrong I was. Let me list the ways the Santos Nuptials worked (and there were many) …

1.) I have never seen a soap wedding that appeared so real before. The ceremony itself was not overly melodramatic — true, they did the whole exchanging of vows which generally make this viewer want to gag, but their vows were simple, beautiful and appropriate for the couple.

Danny’s words expressed his love and desire for a true union with Michelle without actually coming out and saying so — very much in character. And Michelle’s were quick and to the point — she knew herself well enough to know that she could not stand up before God and her family and profess undying love for this man, but there was an honesty and sweetness there that Michelle rarely shows to her husband. Again, it was very appropriate to the couple and their situation.

The reception was just fabulous: The members of the wedding mingling with guests, the speeches — some by people who didn’t really want to give them. Paul Anthony Stewart’s hesitations and “uhs” in his speech sounded incredibly natural and completely real. Michelle’s frozen, slightly embarrassed reaction to Danny’s “we want to be alone” looked like a moment captured on videotape at a real, live wedding.

2) For once, the bride and groom looked absolutely beautiful — both of them. Danny’s suit was just off-kilter enough to stand out (as he always — and pretty much does — should.) And Michelle’s wedding gown was just glorious — romantic, old-fashioned, a perfect complement to her ivory-girl beauty. Normally, I’m not a fan of slicked back hair on brides, but Joie Lenz wears it so well that for the first time, I didn’t mind. And Paul Anthony Stewart … let’s just say the man was fine! — as usual.

3) The Dance — oh my God! the dance. How utterly hot was that dance? It didn’t matter that there was a room full of people, or that others were dancing — all that mattered was that Latin beat, that beautiful couple, and (Thank God!) two actors who actually have rhythm and know how to move, dancing together. Just sizzling. Now, we’ve got to see Danny and Michelle in a sexy, slow dance somewhere down the line.

4) The Wedding Night, how sweet is Danny? Yes, I know he’s a mobman in the making, but with Michelle — his bride, he was just as wonderful as he could be. The way that Stewart gazes at Lenz, you’d think that Michelle was this angel brought down from heaven just for Danny — there to show him the good and right path. Of course, for them to actually become a real couple, he’s gonna have to cut out that Madonna Complex he seems to have placed her in, but in moments like this, it is just so darn beautiful, I sigh like crazy.

5) The kiss. Okay, they, that is, she didn’t follow through, but while it lasted it was pretty damn hot! And more than just steam, there was tenderness and a sweet sensuality. Danny’s hesitant “are you sure?,” evidence of almost desperate desire that she want this as much as he. And evidenced by her slight nod and curving smile, despite her pulling away, the little glow in her eyes bespoke of more than just pretending.

And I believe that that is why she pulled away, alongside guilt over her deception, because she knew somewhere deep inside of herself that she just was not pretending anymore. She did like him. She did care about him and he did make her feel something. She just didn’t know what that something was and so she pulled away. And both Stewart and Lenz did a great job of communicating all of this with just that one kiss and the immediate aftermath.

6) I loved how during Danny’s shoulder massage, a smile full of sweetness and contentment curved Michelle’s lips when Danny said “we’ve all the time in the world. This is just the beginning for us,” before she realized just what that instinctive reaction of hers might meant.

7) And of course, Danny’s admission of how their wedding day affected him, followed by his belief that they could have a future together was so beautiful from his point of view, but so heartbreaking from Michelle’s view. That girl should feel guilty.

For a couple that weren’t even meant to be, these two very much stirred so many emotions on a wedding day that shouldn’t have been more than a formality. It is fabulous to see Guiding Light doing so right with this storyline. They did a great job of walking that line between Danny’s love for his bride and Michelle’s thawing attitude towards her husband while remaining true to both characters and offering the audience a wonderful three-day event — it was just wonderful, beautiful, magical.

Jennifer H.



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