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movies ruin us for life and love

August 13, 2006

Movies ruin us.

Think about it. Why do we love them? It’s because every minute of your average feature is jam-packed with vivid life. Crimes are solved, wars waged, people fall passionately in love, ridiculously impossible fight scenes proliferate, bad guys die, good guys cheat death with style, hilarity occurs, unrealistically gorgeous people are everywhere, unfathomable amounts of corny speeches take place—and all in ninety minutes.

Real life is nothing like that. In fact, most of life is really filler time. It’s just plain boring. It’s taking the garbage out, organizing your sock drawer, daydreaming about the cute guy in English class, bullshitting with your friends. It’s not bad, but it’s the same day to day until your weeks blend together in a sort of plodding monotony. Every now and then a few crumbs get thrown your way: the cute boy deigns to smile at you, or a girls’ night out mixes margaritas with that new digital camera.

Regardless, the point is that movies give us Hollywood, but life hands us Professor Blah and maniacal Cleveland weather. It’s like waving chocolate in front of a girl simultaneously on a diet and PMSing—it’s just cruel. Where’s OUR chance to kick bad guy ass (using, of course, cool karate moves that defy gravity) or have superhero powers? Better yet, when is MY Prince Charming going to drag me off on his white horse?

The latter is a major subject grating on single female nerves everywhere. Stupidly, we watch romantic movie after movie, sighing rapturously over the unbelievably poetic love words hunky actors use to stop their girl just as she was about to board a plane. We gasp over the close call, as if we don’t live in a world of phones, email, and rapid transit that could reunite them. Our heads get so filled with ideas of love, romance, and hot sex that I wonder if any guy could keep up.

Take my own experience with this so-called “romance”. There I was, a young innocent, naively off to college, my only experience with boys being corny chick flicks, or in school where they sidled as near as possible—to copy my tests.

So I came to Case, became partners-in-crime with my roommate, did stupid Orientation events until we wised-up and skipped them, and then (big drum roll) met Beautiful Boy. There he was, sitting in the lounge one night with a group of people playing Truth or Dare. I don’t remember who else was there, I don’t remember what lies I told for Truth, but I swear there was a spotlight on him. Maybe even a breeze ruffling his golden locks. Fate, right?

When we weren’t on a Southpark marathon, or throwing pieces of paper at each other while supposedly homeworking, we were on AIM for lifetimes talking about nothing. One night, he was sitting even closer to me than normal. My arm hairs were touching his arm hairs. I was afraid to move lest I lose such ecstasy. Weird stuff fluttered around my stomach. I was light-headed from not breathing when Beautiful Boy turned to me, and with a smile melted me into a love-sick puddle as he slipped his arm around me and whispered “I like you”. Picture the Hallelujah Chorus going full force in the background.

Time passed by, floated by, and I was happy. Then came the ominous changes. The Chorus was replaced with the Death March. I do not recommend this caring/love stuff. There is agony in seeing someone so important become a stranger. The circles under your eyes become the Grand Canyons as you lie awake wondering if it’s your fault. The birds stopped singing, and every song on the radio seems to voice your misery.

As the average attention span today is only long enough for a quick round at the theater, I’ll fast-forward past the boring details. There came the “Let’s be friends” speech. And, unlike the movies, he didn’t come running back. My experience is that even when guys aren’t busy trying to be “friends”, they won’t give chase. They’re more likely to give up and go back to their Xbox. Nor can I blame them. I, too, would hate spewing forth romantic mush just to hold onto a girlfriend.

Now, with more boy interactions gone as flat as day old pepsi, I’ve realized that it’s not like the movies. There aren’t soul mates and gooey words and rose petals on beds. Any girl who has seen “An Officer and a Gentleman” a dozen times is in for a world of hurt. There’s good times, sloppy kisses, drama, fights, moments you’ll remember forever, but, inevitably, there’s an end.

And yet, I know come a slow Friday night, drunk with my girlfriends, someone’s going to suggest watching a movie, and we’ll all willingly submit ourselves to the evils of “The Notebook” or “Pretty Woman”.

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