Monday, November 22, 2010

Movie Endings.

"So... what happened next?"
"What do you mean? Nothing happened. That's the end of the story."
"What?! It can't be! Something had to have happened! You opened up, you practically wrote a book for Christ's sake! You can't tell me 'that's the end of the story' because I don't believe you."
"I'm sorry. I may lie about a lot of things, but that really was the end."
"Oh. I'm... well, I'm sorry."

Looking back on this conversation as I'm sitting on my couch eating donuts and watching Bridget Jones' Diary, I can understand why she was so disappointed. At the time, I wanted to punch her in the face- how dare she exacerbate my embarrassment by not instantly comprehending the fact that my expression of feelings meant nothing! Now, though, I totally get it. She was looking for John Cusack outside my window with a boom box or Colin Firth at my front door holding a new diary and completely in love with me despite the fact that I'm a total loon. She made the fatal mistake, as I often seem to, of mistaking real life for the movies. In movies, John Bender turns out to have a heart of gold and Bridget Jones gets a man. In real life, Bender is just a pot-smoking tool and Ms. Jones is doomed to a lonely life filled with binge drinking and daytime television because despite her clever, charming personality, no man wants to date an uncoordinated nut (trust me). In real life, our heroes and heroines end up lonely. Reality renders the the people we root for as just people, not being helped along by the gentle nudge of a writer but completely on their own, dangling in a sea of emotional confusion and making the best decisions they can without having someone who already knows the ending of their story pen their every word.

Thus, it's hard to live in real life. Here there are no movie studios pressuring the director for a happy ending, no "chance meetings" on street corners that allow the characters to work out their differences, no quirky, meddling friends who are determined to get our hero and heroine to realize they've been meant for each other all along. In real life, we're alone and constantly stumbling through one situation and then straight into another; there are no pauses or montages where we get to reflect, no clear-as-day flashbacks to help us remember how we felt about something, we don't get a musical number to help us understand our seemingly incomprehensible feelings, and when something is particularly tough, no one is going to cue the apperance of some random old person who just happens to have an anecdote that completely relates to our problems.

Real life is all about figuring out incredibly difficult things on your own, which means, logically, you're going to fuck a lot of things up.. and, unfortunately, no one is going to step in to guarantee you get a second chance.

The rest of the conversation went as follows, in case you're curious:
"Do you think you'll ever hear from him again?"
"Probably not. I'm clearly insane and I'm a huge pain in the ass, no one would subject themselves to that."
"But there's still hope."
"I guess, I don't know."
"C'mon, hunny, there's always hope."

Clearly someone has seen too many John Hughes movies.


So true.

1 comment:

  1. This is absolutely true. Sometimes I feel this way myself. I can't help but wonder if our culture has corrupted us through our tendency to form expectation from fake experiences. And maybe it's just me, but people from past generations, at which point it wasn't this easy to acquire sensationalist social fiction, are less likely to have these silly conceptions about the way their life should be.