Don’t blame MeToo for ruining the most iconic kiss in history. It was never romantic.

Maybe it could be wonderful and exciting to be kissed, by surprise, by a stranger, at the end of a long and terrible war. But when you hear Friedman’s description of it, the whole thing starts to sound unpleasant. The whole photo starts to look unpleasant, too: the way her head is locked into the crook of his elbow, unable to move or avoid his lips.

A man just died, and the thing he was most famous for is a thing that’s actually super weird.

It’s exhausting sometimes to exhume and reexamine old stories, and discover they don’t look how you wished they would. But such is history, especially romantic history, especially the versions published in magazines or on screen. John Cusack’s character? Creepy. Richard Gere’s? In “Pretty Woman,” he’s a hero because he . . . learns to treat a sex worker like an actual human?

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