note to self on movies

why is it that movies always paint misery and depression and dissatisfaction in a romantic light? almost every time, these are made to look poetic, meaningful, sometimes even beautiful in a sense – and (when I am not too enthralled with the movie to not notice) this has always seemed like a misleading, inaccurate, and unfair portrayal of life.

You might say that since we all experience pain and depression at some point during our lives, we all know that pain in real life does not feel like pain in the movies. That said, it’s also true that misery and dissatisfaction can be the most effective catalysts toward personal growth, so they are certainly not without a silver lining. Maybe, with this knowledge in mind, we try to make art less a representation of what real life actually feels like as it is happening, and more a representation of the bigger picture of pain and suffering in general. In that sense, it’s OK to paint a picture of pain as being cathartic and rewarding and beautiful – because these things can certainly come through pain.

So really, maybe my complaint should not be with movies; it should be with my interpretation of movies and my assumption that they should be like real life.

New goal: always go into movies expecting them to be extravagant works of art, not accurate portrayals of real life (or of books, for that matter).

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I'm a young, childless widow who is trying to figure out the best way to deal with the world in light of my late husband's suicide. It's harder than I ever imagined it would be, but somehow at the same time I am still alive and even happy sometimes.

3 thoughts on “note to self on movies”

  1. Good note. Movies that manage to pin down real misery impress me, no matter what they do before / after that. Though it says something about me that I’m having a hard time trying to come up with one.


    1. Oops, I never replied to this – sorry. Almost all “chick flicks” do this to an extent. There’s always something sad that happens – usually towards the end of the movie – which the heroine is able to address with grace and forbearance and even if they aren’t ALWAYS graceful, they still usually add some kind of redemptive quality. Uh, a specific example is Sex and the City. The music during this kind of scene has A LOT to do with this perception. Also, how many times have you watched a character in a movie go off somewhere to cry softly alone, only to be found by a love interest/sibling/parent/friend/whatever – someone who cares? And conversely, how often does that happen in real life? Sorry this isn’t specific. Um.


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