I was noticing this morning how much of my life would be adorable and/or sexy in a movie (perhaps featuring Julia Roberts or Kate Hudson as the heroine), but in real life is neither of those things.
Movie ideas. For example: juggling handbag and coffee, breaking shoe heel, and tripping into path of a handsome fellow. In a Reese Witherspoon movie it’s adorable. Darling! She’s so quirky that you just know at first grimace that she’s a star.
But in reality? “Who’s the klutz with the limp who just scalded the cute guy?”
It isn’t enough to have cornered the market on sin and sex. Movies have now managed to make even clumsy look cute. Why doesn’t that translate into reality for those of us who really need it?
There is just a coolness quotient held by Hollywood that is difficult, if not downright impossible, to replicate in real life. I think that like most “regular people” I can be super-cool for some 20 minutes a week.
That’s all that life requires of me and I manage to do a pretty convincing job of it when I have to; but if you’re not naturally super-cool, pretending to be for any length of time takes a very heavy toll on your nerves.
Lifestyle. More importantly, Hollywood sets impossible lifestyle standards for the rest of us. In plot after plot, viewers endure two-plus hours of a story line that culminates all too perfectly in the end.
The girl discovers her true love just minutes before wrongly marrying another man and the happy couple lives happily ever after.
Hooker goes “straight,” rides off into the sunset with her tycoon, and they live happily ever after.
A couple battles to save mankind and, with the last alien invader still flaming in the background, kiss passionately in a way which tells you that they’ll be living, need we say it, happily ever after.
As Hollywood goes, there may be a brief period of non-bliss time, but ultimately, the girl finds the guy, the parents reconnect with their children (or their inner children) and the hostages are rescued. Cue the eternal happiness!
Dangerous. Do these kinds of movies not seem profoundly dangerous to anyone else? Forget the violence, there is far too much random joy in the movies. Forget real people trying to replicate the movies (and doing it badly and to their utter, lasting disappointment).
Why don’t movies replicate real life? I want to see the movie where Julia Roberts is a down-on-her-luck single mother of three who doesn’t inexplicably become a raging legal eagle and win, in the end, a multi-million payday for herself.
Where, instead, she looks, at best, “not bad for a woman with three kids” and not a bit better; gets by on a low wage job; and must battle repeatedly the evil-doers at the local bureaucracy who regularly waylay her child support check.
Without benefit of a knight in shining armor, or even better, Tom Cruise.
Try this. How about Tom Cruise starring as the last out-of-work action hero? Down-sized after it was discovered that those cheap foreign action heroes can save the earth (and get the girl) at half the price.
Our intrepid man of action, top gun extraordinaire now has to battle to hold on to his mortgage, drive an aging sports car that won’t cold start, and moonlight as fry cook at Denny’s, all while keeping the evil doers at VISA at bay.
Millions of Americans could easily write the script, but the actors would need stunt doubles. This lifestyle would be deemed far too risky for them.
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt could’ve been a contender if clumsy was really the “new cute.” She welcomes comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.)