Ron Howard’s fictional (and sentimental) A Beautiful Mind is a biography of John Nash, a Nobel Prize winning mathematician. If Nash ever picnicked, his (factual) biographer Sylvia Nasar doesn’t mention it. Undeterred, Howard invents a lovers’ picnic at which Nash makes love to his sweetheart Alicia Lande.

Howard’s problem was that he had to overcome Nash’s tendency to be passionate about mathematical game theory and less romantic about Lande. The resulting scene that Howard means to be comic (I hope) shows Nash reciting lines as if reading a mathematical theorem, “All right. I find you attractive,” he confides to Lande, “Your aggressive moves towards me indicate you feel the same. Still ritual requires we continue a number of platonic activities before we can have intercourse. I am proceeding with these activities, although, to some extent, all I really want is to have sex as soon as possible.” Unable to resist, Lande kisses him. (What keeps the actors from breaking-up in this scene beats me?)

Featured Image: Ron Howard. A Beautiful Mind (2002). Screenplay by Akiva Goldsman based on Sylvia Nasar’s biography A Beautiful Mind (1998). New York: Simon and Schuster. John Nash (Russell Crowe) and Alicia Lande (Jennifer Connelly) enjoy a traditional picnic as a prelude to making love.

See: Sylvia Nasar. A Beautiful Mind. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999; Ron Howard. A Beautiful Mind (2002). Screenplay by Akiva Goldsman based on Sylvia Nasar’s biography A Beautiful Mind (1998); Akiva Goldsman. A Beautiful Mind: The Shooting Script. New York: Newmarket Press; 2002