A Single Man.
This isn’t so much a movie review, as it is a movie that made me think about shit. Normally, a long, slow, and stylistically pretentious movie would annoy me and send me walking out of the theater or at least wondering when it would be over. However, in this particular instance I was moved. Perhaps the change is just me? Maybe I am embracing my inner liberal arts degree. But this is unlikely because my own pretentious, self-aggrandizing view of life will hopefully remain a dark secret until I die.
This movie also made me want to be a professor. But then I realized that the truth was much more specific. I want to be gay Colin Firth giving poignant lectures that give the kid from About a Boy a boner.
Seriously though, I identified a lot with this movie in spite of my shortcomings (not being gay Colin Firth). I loved that the movie validated depression to an extent, or at least explored it in an honest way without commenting on it too much. I think as a society we try to erase it as quickly as possible. I feel like medications, in many cases (not all) are just a means of putting a blanket on the ugly part of life. Not that I want to be depressed or I want to wish that on anyone else. It isn’t healthy certainly to feel sorry for yourself and dwell in your misery. But I also feel like being sad is normal, but as a society we treat it as a mental condition that needs to be fixed. I don’t know if depression needs to be “fixed” (again, in most cases). I think what it needs to be is experienced and learned from. Not to sit in it, but to accept it more. Not medicate it, but try to grow from it and figure out what it’s telling us.
So I enjoyed (in a sympathetic way) watching Colin Firth and Julianne Moore struggle and cope with their lives. I’m probably much more like Julianne Moore — waiting for someone to save me (I’m trying to be there for myself more). Then again, I guess this is potentially okay since the alternative seems to be attempted suicide until someone “gets” you. And then you have a heart attack. (Spoiler…)
I also liked that the important things for these people were the human connections they made in their life. Lately I have felt like there is a de-emphasis on human relationships, or “real” ones. People have become relationship collectors… just trying to get to know people on a superficial level so they can have “contacts.” “Networking” is a term now, that sort of thing. I feel like the moments that really matter though are those that we share with people who evoke love, whatever that emotion might be. Sometimes it seems like love is uncool now. Hooking up is prevalent. Being guarded and alone is viewed as a “strength”. “Independence.”
Not to say that those aren’t good things. Despite how important it is to connect it also seems that to an extent we are all alone, or at least if we can’t be there for ourselves then it is unlikely anyone else can be. I suppose it’s about finding a balance. Learning to be there for yourself and finding inner peace but being willing to open up and accept people to come and go into your life.
I regret that this post wasn’t silly and is probably pretentious. I’m trying to write more and to think less. Hopefully (and more likely) no one reads this.