Does life imitate art?
Does art imitate life?
What about love?
I’m a true-blue movie buff. No question about it. You can ask any of my friends and family and they will tell you that more often than not I will quote some movie in a day-to-day dialogue before I will speak my own original thoughts. Usually, I’m just easing my way through a conversation with an actor’s line because I’m uncomfortable and need an “out”. Sometimes, I relate the conversation to a story-line I have seen and instantly have the line slipping off my tongue before I can stop myself. And it’s not just movies. It can be a song lyric. I regularly speak in Spongebob. Not much wisdom comes from that, but I always get a good chuckle and sometimes, that can be worth a thousand words.
But I enjoy almost all sorts of movie. To me, nothing beats a great horror flick. Action is awesome. Dramas… classic dramas. Comedies (not really the raunchy kind). I love the Marx Brothers. Independent films… Seriously, I love almost all of them – I am not so much of a Romantic-comedy/chick flick kind of girl. But I do have my guilty pleasures…
Since I often relate to movies, I’ve spent the last year watching quite a few more chick flicks than I actually care to admit. I’m a divorced woman. What did you expect? Romance makes me somewhat uncomfortable, though. This may have possibly been the start to the unraveling in my previous marriage. It always felt unnatural to say sweet things or to touch lovingly… to cuddle. When all of this does catch me off-guard as being natural, then I usually panic and swear that it’s not at all happening. “No, I don’t enjoy cuddling!” Denying can only take you so far.
Chick flicks and Romantic-comedies. Most of them consist of story-lines dealing with love, heartache, and friendship. This seems innocent enough. But as I focus more on what I expected my life to be like – based on chick clicks I have seen in the past – I realize that I’ve been viewing life through a veil of fantasy. Naturally, I put my own twist to these fantasies, because my life could never be an exact replica of art (that would just be silly). But in the end, no matter how much you change the circumstances and appearances of character, the whole concept is unrealistic.
For starters, let’s look at Dirty Dancing. My mom forbid me to watch it based on the title alone. Dirty Dancing. Seeing the style of dancing, she also felt it was inappropriate – it looked like sex with their clothes on. But finally, I watched it behind my parents’ back at my friend Cortney’s house during a slumber party in the 6th grade. I just knew that I would fall in love someday – probably at a camp – and meet a handsome guy that could dance and somehow we would win some talent contest as dancers.
-I couldn’t dance my way out of a paper bag, so it should go without saying that this could never happen. And in that case, I won’t even touch Girls Just Wanna Have Fun or Footloose. UNREALISTIC
So I look at something a bit more acceptable, like The Breakfast Club. I would be in detention and fall for the bad boy, possibly causing some chink in my popular girl armor. Yes, I had a thing for Judd Nelson.
-I was never that rich nor popular in high school. I was also too much of a goodie-goodie to even get detention. (And I wasn’t weird enough to be the “Ally Sheedy”). UNREALISTIC
Sixteen Candles it was! Molly Ringwald’s character was more of a girl I could relate to anyway. The girl next door, she wasn’t popular. She was a bit angsty. Wasn’t a complete wall-flower and no one hated her. Yeah, I could be that girl, though never in a million years would my parents forget my birthday. But could the beautiful senior possibly fall for the sophomore girl? Well, he did – but he was a total douchebag that cheated on me and tried stringing me along for years afterward. Jake Ryan would have never treated Samantha Baker this way.
I did however have a geek or two that seemed to never take the hint. UNREALISTIC
College wasn’t much better. Of course, most college-based movies are raunchy comedies. I didn’t find that as an appealing alternative to real-life, but I imagined I would at least look and be built like the beautiful actresses that portrayed the college girls in these movies. Nope. Not a chance. By my senior year, I had finally topped out my college weight at 102 lbs and finally upgraded to a double A bra size. I looked more like Olive Oyl…and even then, I never met my “Popeye”.
Which brings me to my young adult years. How would I fall in love? How would I get married? So many movies I had to choose from!
The Notebook? Not unless my Noah was the douchebag from high school or the boy I first fell for that lived down the road from me.
Pretty Woman? Well I may have the red hair, but I was never a hooker.
Empire Records? I did work in a happenin’ music store at one point in my life with some pretty cool chicks, but we lacked the hott, artistic guys on the staff.
While You Were Sleeping. Though this whole debacle is something stupid I would find myself caught up in, I would have never carried out that facade as long as she did. I would have dumped the guy while he was in a coma and go after his brother. The brother would reject me because I was heartless for dumping my supposed comatose fiance and in the end, I would be alone just the same.
Titanic? I would have let go, Jack, long before our fingers froze together.
A quick rundown of what my life has never been: Sleepless In Seattle, Runaway Bride, You’ve Got Mail, Can’t Hardly Wait, No Strings Attached, 28 Dresses, Leap Year, Valentine’s Day, A Walk to Remember (Lord, I hope not. I don’t wanna die of cancer!), Ghost, An Affair to Remember, Dear John, Hitch, 10 Things I Hate About You, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, The Lake House, Clueless, She’s All That, Return to Me, Wall*E (Yes, this would have been a nice change of pace in life in terms of love), Notting Hill, The Holiday, Music & Lyrics, and last but CERTAINLY not least – Twilight.
I am certain I forgot about a million in between. Stick those in there for me as well, would you?
My life has never imitated art. So I wasn’t surprised in the least when my divorce didn’t dovetail with the likes of Hope Floats or Something to Talk About. My shattered marriage wasn’t viewed on a talk show, but like Sandra Bullock, I did secretively slip back into my hometown without even a word. Some of my friends still don’t know that I’m back and living with my parents. And though she finally got a job that she wasn’t overly proud of, at least she got a job. I’m still unemployed.
Harry Connick Jr. is not waiting in the wings for me. No one is. And even if he was, whose to say that in a few months he wouldn’t freak out because he realized the final step in our relationship would require him to be a step-dad. Sure he loves you and thinks your kids are great, but the end result still remains: He doesn’t want to be a father to them. They never showed that part of the movie.
Julia Roberts was from a well-to-do prestigious family in Something to Talk About and she shocked the other southern ladies of prestige by asking during a public meeting if any of the other ladies had slept with her husband? Though it is very much in my personality to do this, I don’t belong to a prestigious family or a ladies group where I’d even have to ask this question. I will not end up back with my ex-husband either. And I’m terrified of horses.
My divorce has been neither glamorous nor humorous. My marriage didn’t go out with a bang, but a whimper. It’s been a struggle for me and my boys. I’m broke all the time, but fortunate to have friends and family that continue to help me back on my feet. And never in any of the above mentioned movies did the woman decided that what she was missing all along was not a man or her independence and dignity, but instead the Son of God.
And I haven’t even had as rough of a divorce as the majority of other women I’ve spoken to. Maybe it’s time Art imitates Life? I’d pay money to see it, even if it didn’t promote a “happily-ever-after” ending. It should simply end with the woman being happy that she made her decision, because it was the right one to make. It should end as an inspiring cliff-hanger, because that’s what life is on a day-to-day basis. A cliff-hanger. We get to choose our own adventure and we decide if we’re happy or not where we tread or where we land. Hollywood doesn’t choose for us.
When Harry Met Sally
Watching a movie and expecting it to be your reality is like watching a cooking show and knowing that your first meal is going to be a huge success. I’ve been attempting to cook for over a decade now and I swear that not only can I still burn toast, but I could also set fire to my house by simply boiling water. Even in reality-based movies, moms are sexy! I’m currently covering my grey roots and battling my weight. Not sexy. Real.
My Best Friend's Wedding
But I can still dream! Maybe my life will someday become a When Harry Met Sally as opposed to a My Best Friend’s Wedding.
Just a random thought.
Next week, maybe I should put myself in a horror movie or western, just for grins and giggles.