Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Romantic Tragedy?

Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema

I have been discussing love and relationships and dating with my girlfriends more than usual over the last few days...ever since He's Just Not That Into You opened in theatres last Friday, as a matter of fact.

He’s Just Not That Into You provides a bare bones guide through the strategic world of dating by getting rid of all the excuses and “what ifs” that come with the territory. As the lives of this interconnected group of friends in Baltimore illustrate, even smart, beautiful, successful women can become needy, desperate, delusional, and even a little crazy. Many more fall into the "making excuses trap." The film dissects the signals we put out as we interact with each other via the internet and over our various phones and blackberries, in text messages and emails, and in person.

I have to admit that I walked out of the theatre feeling like a frustrated lonelyheart. It really seemed to me to suggest that the chase involved in finding that perfect person is pretty much a fruitless waste of time that causes only heart ache and misery. It spotlighted the mind games and the bullshit and reminded me of exactly what exhausts me so much about dating and gives me anxiety over the possibility of never actually finding my soul mate or living happily ever after. I left wondering if I was doomed to wander the universe alone for the rest of my life.

The film doesn't peddle the fantasy that a happy ending is the inevitable climax of every meet-cute. For all its humour, it recognizes that love is ephemeral and elusive. This might be the most thorough, realistic chick flick of recent times. And to be honest, that scared the hell out of me.

Thankfully, as the film points out, there are always exceptions. Here's hoping that I can find MY exception...
(where is my Ben Affleck, anyway?)


A friend of mine sent me a quote last week that I love so much. Relating back to personal growth and relationships, this has become somewhat of a mantra for me recently:
"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement, there is life and in change there is power."


Jessica said...

Wow I love that quote it is going up on the wall and out to all of my GF’s


Amy said...

The way I took it, was that it spotlights the mind games and bullshit so that we don't waste our time or exhaust ourselves with the what-if's. That if you meet someone, or go on a date, you can spot the signs and not have to wonder or analyze every little thing to see if he'll call you. Know that he'll either call you or won't and try not to worry about it beyond that.

You will get your exception!

Kris said...

Haven't seen the movie yet, I figure it'd just depress me. Whether it ended up happy and cute, or realistic and sad, I think I'd be bummed out.

PatZ said...

i think the whole idea of a 'chase' to find someone is kind of a strange idea. it sort of implies that you won't ever find it if you don't hunt it down. that's bull. i think it's way easier to just go along with where life takes you, and if it happens to lead you somewhere happy then you should embrace it.

or think of it like a car chase in a movie. you known that no matter how exciting the chase is, someone always crashes and burns. and that would probably be painful.

i also think a lot of people spend wayyyyyy too much time worrying about this kind of thing. i remember sitting next to this guy at that Crepe place on granville once, and he was telling his buddy that he was dead set on being married and having kids by the time he was 23. and all I could think was, if he's going to spend that much effort trying to nail that down, how much else in life is he going ot miss out on?

Smelly Danielly said...

I think Pat hit the nail on the head.

Jennifer Stoddart said...

@Amy: I like the way you look at it very much. It makes me feel a lot better about things.

@Smelly Danielly, @PatZ: Yup, PatZ totally hit the nail on the head. All so very true. Recently I have been spending more time than I should be worrying about ending up alone. By that same token, I've never been one to "chase," so.

Tawcan said...

So many movies that I need to see, so little time. Ugh.

Maybe I'll just wait till the DVD comes out.