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Making the shallow the deep end

September 7, 2010

You know what I hate?

Okay, well, maybe hate isn’t the right word. Let’s change that.

You know what I find annoying? (That’s better!)

I find it extremely annoying that I always tend to extract much deeper meaning from crappy, dime-a-dozen movies than I should.

This is what happens:

I go into a really average, everyday movie, expecting to have my mind glazed over with happy endings and beautiful faces, and I leave biting my nails to the nub, questioning everything about my life. And it’s especially annoying because I always enter the movie theatre in the first place specifically because I have no intention of feeling the way I inevitably end up feeling.

Okay, I don’t know if that made a lot of sense — let’s go into some examples, shall we?

On a lonely Sunday evening around three weeks ago, I was, of course, watching Ghosts of Girlfriends Past on HBO. I mean, just read the title. Immediately, we know it ain’t no Shawshank Redemption. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is known, universally (by those who even remember it came out), to be the most forgettable movie of all time. That movie was made simply to pander to the most prurient interests of females and to do nothing more.

For me, it did so much more. Goddammit.

So, there I was sitting, working my way into a self-induced coma to save myself from the tired dialogue, the mundane acting, and the absolutely ridiculous plot line, when suddenly, I awoke. I wiped the drool from the side of my face and my jaw dropped.

The words Michael Douglas (in a role far, far below him; a role I’m almost sure he accepted because he wanted to buy his grandchild an island in the Bahamas) uttered to his nephew resonated with me so deeply it sent me into a hurricane of realizations about myself, my life and the people in my life. Really, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past? Really? Is a shitty monologue you guys threw together over beers in some ramshackle bar really going to make me lose sleep?

You bet it did.

And it just happened again.

This is what happens when I try to live life like a normal human being. The world gives me a huge bitch slap and says, “Hey, what are you doing? Attempting to enjoy life? Ah, you naïve little girl. BITCH SLAP!”

I was bitch slapped by Going the Distance — a movie I fully admit to seeing just because of the presence of Justin Long. It was not a good movie. It was stupid, it was average and it had Justin Long, so of course I got my ass to the movies to watch it ASAP.

Unfortunately, for me, though, Drew Barrymore’s character was a struggling journalist with whom I identified strongly. Her character was grappling with the realities of today’s job market and the fact that the profession of journalism is a shrinking trade with not many jobs to be had. Throughout the movie, it is patent that, as job openings in journalism are slim, and getting slimmer by the day, she should grab at whatever opportunities stumble across her path. She loses a job opportunity, dives into depression, finds another one (luckily), takes it and still can’t move out of her sister’s house.

And, throughout the entire 90 minute saga, I couldn’t focus on the romance. I couldn’t allow myself to enjoy Justin Long’s quirky allure. Hell, I couldn’t even enjoy the buttery popcorn I had as my disposal. The whole time I worried about my future. Journalism. Goddamn you, iPhone, iPad, Kindle and the internet!

Sometimes (all the time), I worry. What am I doing? Am I doing enough? Where will I be in 20, 10, 5 years?! Will

The good old days of journalism

I be in my Mom’s basement living on Hot Pockets and Diet Dr. Pepper? Will I be manning the Metro desk at the New York Times? Will I be pulling midnight shifts at a random local paper in the middle of nowhere asking myself, “Why am I here? Where am I going? Who am I?” Will I lose my dream job to someone more talented, and wake up the next morning with a hangover that lasts a week and a broken spirit that lasts a lifetime?

I worry, worry, worry — and for what? Why? What does that accomplish? Nothing. Nothing. Nothing!

That movie was made to make me feel good, not hopeless. And hey, where did feeling hopeless ever get anyone anyways, right?

I’m just going to enjoy that movie for what it was — $12 worth of lovey dovey cutesy fartsy romance, not an examination of the future successes and failures of my life.

So, here’s to getting what you pay for — and nothing more!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2010 6:57 am

    You don’t have anything to worry about, homeslice- Not only do you pretty much have a job lined up as Editor in Chief of the LA Times, but your writing is extremely versatile to the point of starting up a blog that could potentially sell ad space, you could write for music magazines, and in my opinion you even belong writing sketch comedy for the big guns like SNL or what have you. Or just doing stand up comedy- there’s a career path for you. Not to mention you’ll always have a job of some sort waiting for you when I’m out on the road because let’s face it- I won’t be able to function so far away from you for such extended periods of time.

    Or you can sell drugs.

  2. September 8, 2010 10:42 am

    Enjoy the popcorn, work hard, and realize that there will always be a need for people who can write. Think about it. Even in a down economy, someone is being paid to write all these forgettable movies. And reviews of the forgettable movies, too!

  3. Gus Hastalis permalink
    September 8, 2010 12:45 pm

    Emilia — you make me laugh every time I read your wonderful writing! I love your addiction to romantic movies and I completely identify, unfortunately, with your propensity to focus on a minor detail and puzzle over it to distraction! I think that’s what makes you such a good comedian.

    And I think I love you a little bit more, if that is possible, every time I read what you write.


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