It’s about a movie and a blog (not mine).

Okay, I love chick flicks.  This is a long-established fact that my friends and family have learned to deal with.  Most of the time, I don’t inflict my problem on them, so it’s no big deal.

I also love Design*Sponge.  I think it’s one of the greatest blogs in existence.

Both of those loves are all girl.  Well, there’s an element of manliness on Design*Sponge, but it’s about the same percentage of manliness that exists in a cinnamon dolce latte.  Even though I’m sure lots of men enjoy that beverage (oh so much), they probably don’t proudly declare that fact during a football game with the guys.

Photo by Starbucks official folks

Anyway, Design*Sponge has lots of types of posts.  One of the categories is called “Living In,” and it takes favorite movies (theirs) and picks out items that could be straight from the set (clothes, house stuff, etc.).  If you ever secretly wanted to live in Alice in Wonderland or something, Design*Sponge can help.  I don’t usually get all excited about the stuff that they have listed, it’s just fun to look at the posts anyway.  And to give them full credit, their favorite movies range from things like Dazed and Confused and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to Big and Amelie. There’s something in there for most people.

When Design*Sponge tells me that I haven’t seen one of their favorite movies, and that movie is a classic chick flick, I fix that.  They recently described Love Story as the Holy Grail of movies, which is pretty high praise.  How can you pass up that kind of recommendation?  I then saw that particular movie in the $4 sale stack at Target, purchased it, went home, and started watching it that night.  It’s a couple of weeks later, and I’m still watching that darn movie in five- to ten-minute chunks every single day.  I really should have checked the total film length before I started watching in the first place.

On the one hand, this strange movie experience is like reading a book before bed.  I get through a page and don’t worry about falling asleep promptly at the end of that page.  On the other hand, this is supposed to be an amazing love story (hence the name).  I can’t even make it through 10 whole minutes of the thing.  I feel kind of disrespectful, like I’m heartlessly ignoring the fact that these people are in love and tragic things are happening to them.  Then I don’t care again.  I also remember at some point during the guilt that these are imaginary people.

None of this matters in the grand scheme of things.  I just thought it was noteworthy that there’s a classic chick flick out there that holds absolutely no interest for me.  Wasn’t prepared for that.

Movie Magic

As I waited for the previews to end before When In Rome, I was thinking about why I like chick flicks so much.  It certainly isn’t because I believe they’re realistic.  I don’t even want some perfect-except-for-misunderstanding-x-about-him guy to see me from across the room and follow me around the world.  It might be cute in movies, but it would be creepy in real life.  No thanks.  And I don’t expect to be completed by a relationship, even if it is a great one.  I know that problems don’t usually resolve neatly in an hour and a half.

I think it’s exactly because I don’t believe in that stuff that I like to watch those movies.  I can suspend reality and enjoy the romantic garbage as long as the movie is playing.  I can pretend  that “happily ever after” is a completely legitimate start for a relationship.  And despite the fact that in real life my natural reaction to mush is usually laughter, I can watch the leading man in a movie say mushy things to the leading lady and I don’t cringe (much).

I think the same is true for any type of movie.  You can watch action movies and for an hour and a half believe that you could in fact jump from a burning building to a moving get-away car with nothing more than a few scratches to show for it.  There could be a little bit of James Bond or Jason Bourne in everyone.  I’m not sure how the parallel would work for comedies… maybe if we tell enough hilarious jokes, everything will work out in the end despite the odds?  And for drama, maybe if times were tough, I could make that heroic choice, too.  Maybe people are basically good (definitely not what I believe, but that’s for another conversation).  Lots of movies are based on real stories, after all… it could happen.

If asked, most of us would be able to tell fact from fiction in real life, but isn’t it more fun to pretend every once in a while?  The trick is remembering to go back to the real deal when the movie is over.  No jumping into moving cars for me, and no picking coins out of the “fountain of love” either.  Sometimes I feed myself such a steady diet of garbage that it gets easier to forget exactly what is real and what’s important.  So my goal isn’t necessarily to stop watching movies, but it is to think them through when I’ve finished watching and to feed myself some extra fact to go with all of the fiction.  I’m pretty sure The Bachelor doesn’t count.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

One of my college friends loves all kind of movies–thrillers, chick flicks, serious dramas, comedy, whatever.  She will even go as far as to say that she likes movies whether they’re good or bad.  Seeing movies with her was fantastic, because even if it was the stupidest movie pick I ever made, she would have a good time.

Since most people aren’t quite that relaxed about the movies they watch, I sometimes go to movies alone.  I love the freedom of going to a movie knowing that it will probably be bad without feeling guilty that you’re forcing someone else to experience it, too. That comes into play frequently because of my love for chick flicks.  I know they aren’t usually well-written, etc.  There are certainly chick flicks that I don’t like, but for the most part, I forgive them for their low quality and enjoy the happy cheese.

Tonight’s jubilee is brought to you because I’m going to see When in Rome in a little over two hours.  I read some reviews of it today, and none of them were good.  In fact, they were all really terrible.  I’m still excited about seeing it!