The Adjustment Bureau really pissed me off. But we’l get back to that.
This post is about movie love [pr. lurrvveee]. That’s not to say any movie with love in it. Not movies with real, emotional honesty. This is not about the old couple in Up. This is about Romeo & Juliet, and the thousands of movies those two selfish brats have ruined ever since. Somehow, ever since Shakespeare (or whoever wrote under that name…but that’s another time and another blog) committed those angsty morons to paper they have become the gold standard in romance. Then the movies took hold of them, repackaged them, and sold them on in a plethora of disguises…over and over again. Movie after movie after movie selling being “in lurrvvee” as the height of human existence. Romance as the zenith of being a live. Romance at the cost of sense. Romance at the cost of morality. Romance at the cost of sanity.
It’s starting to sound like I’m just bitter singleton, isn’t it? Well I’m not. I like love. Love in movies can be great…but only if its real. When its two people that barely know each other…it just annoys me. Here’s three classic examples.
Example A: Romance at the cost of sense: Twilight. The trendy hate right now, for a lot of good reasons. Edward and Bella love each other…right? But what do they love about each other? He’s beautiful and her mind can’t be read. Boom. Lifelong long commitment. Scratch that, they’re immortal…ETERNAL commitment. Based on what? What movies do they like? What politics do they share? what do they even talk about, when they’re not talking about being in lurrvvveee. *sigh* Drives me crazy.
I have a lot of other issues with this story…they’ll come out later. Time to move on…
Example B: Romance at the cost of morality: West Side Story. A straight re-telling for R&J in a modern setting. To its credit – street gangs for medieval Italian noble families is actually a neat idea. Tony and Maria meet. They fall in love. They meet again. Tony kills Maria’s brother. They get married. We all go “awwwww”.
…seriously? He killed HER BROTHER. Her brother who she grew up with. Who she’s known her whole life. Murdered by some guy she’s met precisely twice, and shes fine with it?? Please tell me this bothers other people. That’s not romantic, that’s psychopathic self-involvement. It’s just wrong, right?
Example C: Romance at the cost of sanity: The Adjustment Bureau. I told you we’d come back to it. I’m going to spoil it for you, so if you want to watch it and be surprised…look away. In this movie Matt Damon plays an American politician who one day hopes to be president, as most politicians do I should think. One day he meets a ballerina, played by Emily Blunt. Shes one of those “zany” characters who does wildly inappropriate things we’re supposed to find charming. Anyway, they meet briefly, they have chemsitry…etc etc.
At this point, God feels the need to step in. Seriously…God. He’s real. He sends some angels (you can tell they’re angels because of the hats) to intercept Matt Damon before he can pursue this girl any further. The angels tell Matt Damon everything. Everything. “Oh, by the way, God is real, we’re his angels. He’s made it your destiny to be the greatest president in the history of the USA…but you have to never see this girl you’ve met once, ever again.”
He has just had the answer to every big question human beings have ever asked handed to him on a plate. God is real. He loves us. There IS a divine plan. Everything is fine after you die. Is he awed? Is he overcome with joy? Is he bollocks. He just pisses and moans about not seeing this girl again, steals a magical hat, and fucks up God’s divine plan. I mean, you would, wouldn’t you? You met her all of once after all, and she seemed so nice.
Throw out all the moral questions involved (He doesn’t ask her permission to mess up her destiny, all the people he could help by being a good president etc.) we covered morality already. He has met her ONCE. What if the second time you meet her she tells you shes a Nazi? What if she’s a lunatic? What if the next time you see her shes wearing a turtle on her head? or lying in the street dressed as an alarm clock making beeping noises? Hell…something smaller. What if she likes Adam Sandler movies or makes disgusting noises when she eats soup?
What if you just don’t get on?
I read the perfect summary of Romeo and Juliet ages ago on some website I’ve forgotten the name of. It was everywhere for a while, one of those anonymous inventions that sweeps through the sub-culture like a virus: A relationship between a thirteen year old and seventeen year old that lasts three days and results in 6 deaths. That’s what lurrvvvee as an ideal has turned us into: teenagers. Short sighted, dim witted, and self involved. We don’t want companionship or friendliness or warmth…we want melodrama and to feel like the star of a movie. No wonder divorce rates are so high, couple after couple after couple all berating the unfairness of the fact that this guy who proposed so sweetly never does the fucking dishes and shouts at the football alllll Sunday afternoon.
We should all get together and sue Shakespeare. Whoever he was.