because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Monday, 5 September 2011

Chick-Flick over-identification.


As it stands now, I feel like the heroine in a C-rate Hollywood movie about a small town girl who leaves the familiarity and comforts of everything she knows to Make It Big in the city. See: the blonde girl in that film with all the dancing on the bar.

Cue several montage scenes, to the music of Leann Rimes or similar, as the heroine (ME) pounds the pavement of block after block of city street, each bearing an increased resemblance to Stab Alley, newspaper in hand with all of its red-penned circles of ‘Maybe this will be the perfect place to live!’ hopeful glory. Every time the heroine reaches the 10th floor of the next dull, unlit broom cupboard in her limited budget, the smile she has grown in a na├»ve attempt to Stay Positive drops to the floor and she realises that Nothing Comes Easy. See: Christina Aguilera in that movie she did with Cher.

Overweight southern landlords and skinny geeks with glasses and bad breath fire words as if from a shotgun in staccato-ed Italian, and she catches maybe 10 per cent of what is being impatiently explained to her. See: Under the Tuscan Sun. Dejected, despondent, and a little bit sad, she shakes her head and leaves into darkness to travel the hour it will take her to get to where she has a temporary bed in a motel near the airport. For the first act of the movie, it seems like she might just give up because Nothing Is Going Her Way.

She has a side-kick though, a friend who is on her side. Her relationship with him is what is known as the Comic Relief. He is introduced by way of his lumbering, tanned frame entering the bathroom half-dressed and crying out,
“Laura! The bathroom door is stuck again!” The heroine cranes her neck around the corner of the kitchenette where she is making white pasta with oil for a midnight supper, as there is no money for anything else. “I’m just gonna pee with it open, okay?” he concludes.
She rushes to the bathroom. “No you’re bloody not,” she says. “Before you know it you’ll be pooping whilst I shower and I’ll be changing tampons as you clean your teeth.” She tugs at the door and it closes. “Understood?”

She is sassy, this heroine.

They will snuggle together on one of the tiny single beds that night, after breaking the budget for a lime Bacardi Breezer to forget their troubles. Earlier, she blew the smoke of a scrounged cigarette into the stars outside, whispering an open letter to the universe as he listened, and she asked for all of the magical things she’ll need to fulfil her dream of belonging here.

The next day, on another continued jaunt around the city in an attempt to find a home, they have their first fight.

“Can you tell me where we are going?” she asks, as she struggles to keep up with where he is leading her.
“This way,” he says.
“Yes, I can see that, but WHERE?”
They get on a bus together, he tells her where to sit, and the question goes unanswered. She takes a huge breath.
“I need to say something, and I need you not to say anything back until I am done, okay?” 

This gets his attention. 

“You just need to remember,” she begins, as the bus hurtles past the famous Spanish Steps, an open Piazza, marble statues, Fascist buildings and everything else Julia Roberts marvelled at in Eat, Pray, Love. “I’m not one of your American college hags. I am 25 years old, and have travelled half way around the world and back again several times, alone. I don’t have anybody tell me what to do and I don’t need a hero to navigate me around my life, or around a city that neither of us know. Okay? I need you to be my partner in this, not my saviour, okay?”

Half an hour later, as she furiously grapples with a street guide, the bus timetable, and her own flustered ego, she has something to admit.
“I took us the wrong way,” she says through gritted teeth. “I don’t know where we are.”
He turns on his heel. “Not saying a word…” he replies, as he begins to walk in the opposite direction- slower this time, but still leading. She is visibly annoyed at needing his help, but grateful. It is the message at the heart of the film: Sometimes You Can’t Do It All Alone.

By my reckoning, it is around about this point in the script that the heroine gets a break, a nod from the universe that It Will All Work Out because she has Accepted The Help Of Others. 

Last night, the Roomie and I shook hands on a room in an apartment with a promise of, “Okay then! See you Tuesday when we move in!”
The landlord replied, “Yes, I will call you tomorrow to confirm- when I have spoken with the other guys.”
“But we have got the room?” we asked, nervously.
“Yes, yes, of course,” he says, “I will confirm tomorrow.”
“That we can move in?”
“Yes. Tuesday. You can move in Tuesday. I will call you tomorrow.”

I don’t know if I have somewhere to live or not. I’ll believe it once I have a key. Then I’ll be ready for the second act of the movie, where the heroine works day and night to Fulfil Her Potential. This is the act that I am particularly looking forward to, because often it involves a cute man who will firstly irritate the bejesus out of said heroine as she tries to Realise Her Dream, and will culminate in a cleverly shot Hot Sex Scene that will actually only be rated PG because in these sorts of films, the target market is teenagers. Anybody older than a sixth-former knows that stories like this don’t happen in real life. 

Except that apparently, they do. 


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