Study Guide

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Love

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RALPH: Hey big fella, looks like it could be your turn next, eh?

The movie opens with the wedding of Brad and Janet's friends, and the groom suggests that Brad might be next. Love is in the air. But because Janet's saving herself for marriage, it's difficult to tell if Brad is interested in proposing because of love or because of lust.

BRAD: The river was deep but I swam it. (Janet) The future is ours so let's plan it. (Janet) So please, don't tell me to can it. (Janet) I've one thing to say and that's dammit, Janet I love you.

Brad declares his love passionately for Janet in song. Who wouldn't want that? Plus, it shows that he's a little edgy by saying "dammit." He looks so milquetoast, he seems like the type of guy who would say "dang" and "sugar."

EDDIE: Whatever happened to Saturday night, when you dressed up sharp and you felt all right? It don't seem the same since cosmic light came into my life, I thought I was divine.

Eddie may be a zombie, but he's a sweet zombie, and he feels love. Yet Frank's reaction to Eddie suggests that "love" is an emotion that only zombies with half a brain should experience. He sees love as a defect.

EDDIE: Hot patootie, bless my soul, I really love that rock 'n roll.

Eddie's song is a throwback to a fifties-style rock 'n' roll that is outdated and old-fashioned to the other characters in the movie. Continuing our analysis from the previous quote, it is also how Frank feels about love: it is outdated and old-fashioned.

COLUMBIA: Everybody shoved him. I very nearly loved him.

Columbia's adverbs here are quite important. In the next quote, she'll tell Frank that she loved him. But Eddie? She "very nearly" loved him. What was stopping her from flat-out using the L-word?

COLUMBIA: My God! I can't stand any more of this! First you spurn me for Eddie, and then you throw him off like an old overcoat for Rocky! You chew people up and then you spit them out again. I loved you. Do you hear me? I loved you! And what did it get me? Yeah, I'll tell you: a big nothing. You're like a sponge. You take, take, take, and drain others of their love and emotion. Yeah, well, I've had enough. You're gonna choose between me and Rocky, so named because of the rocks in his head.

Columbia is fed up with the way Frank treats people who love him, and she delivers one of the longest monologues in the movie. It's surprising, considering what a minor character she is. And Frank does what you'd expect him to do: he turns her to stone and shuts her up.

FRANK: Whatever happened to Fay Wray? That delicate, satin-draped frame? As it clung to her thigh, how I started to cry, 'cause I wanted to be dressed just the same.

In his penultimate number, Frank reveals that he has a complicated relationship with love. He always felt different and wanted to be someone else. Ever since, he has been very guarded with his emotions, to the point that he became callous and insensitive to others.

RIFF RAFF: They didn't like me! He never liked me!

Columbia isn't the only one affected by Frank's coldness. It appears that Riff Raff wanted to be loved and accepted by Frank, too, but he never was. This slight ends up coming back to bite Frank, because Riff Raff has no qualms about killing him.

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