When I was a teenager I imagined my future romantic life as a complete fulfillment of my happiness. I thought that girls with boyfriends were so lucky. I wanted love so badly. I used to dream about my imaginary boyfriend when I fell asleep hugging my pillow. Romantic movies were (and still are) my favorite guilty pleasure (plus “Ben & Jerry”). The only difference is I stopped hoping that romantic scenes are actually going to happen to me and I am hugging my real boyfriend now instead of my pillow. But still, I love my fictional characters, just like “Star Wars” fans worship theirs.
The characters take me to my little world of big romantic dreams. The world where things like rationality, time and money are irrelevant. The world where only romance is important and it seems so crazy, pure and honest, without other interests involved. The world where only love matters and it is so strong that it conquers all the obstacles and triumphantly wins over everything and everyone standing in its way. It doesn’t matter how often characters fight or how badly they hurt each other. It doesn’t matter if they are separated by distance or death or time. They just cannot live without each other and they have to find a way to be together in the end. I love that intense game of passion and sacrifice, that fight for happiness, that rules-breaking and breath-taking.
But what would happen if I lived in one of those movie stories? Not in the movies, but in the stories. In other words:
How would I play those roles in my life?
What would I do if I found myself in those situations?
What if I was Holy from “P.S. I Love You”? Could I be brave enough to continue my life after Gerry’s death in a way he prescribed in his letters? Would I bear such a loss and would I be able to love again? Could I take a year off to find myself again just like Elizabeth from “Eat, Pray, Love” did? She took a self-searching journey after her divorce and she found her path in the end. Could I afford myself a whole year of “escape” just for finding myself? Could anyone do that today? Why is it such a luxury to put your own life on a pause? And why is it so hard to let go and move on in real life, but looks so cool and life-changing in movies?
Movies are so simple and they end exactly when things become too complicated or too real. For example, in “The Holiday”, Amanda and Graham get together during Christmas holidays in London and they know their relationship cannot go any further because she needed to go back to L.A. in a few days. In the end, she canceled her flight and decided she’ll stay for the New Year’s Eve. But what would happen after the New Year’s? It seems it doesn’t matter. What matter is they are happy in that very moment of the big ending. And of course, a romantic song starts to play in the background saying: “Life is great”.
What if, after a while, Allie and Noah from “The Notebook” realized their relationship cannot work any more because they fight too much and it is just getting worse with time as their emotions fade and they realize their love isn’t so strong any more as it was when they were young?
What if Gerry from “P.S. I Love You” stayed alive and his relationship with Holly collapsed after few years because he couldn’t stand her demanding character anymore or she realized she couldn’t take Gerry’s false promises and just wanted a stable relationship with a reliable grown-up guy for a change?
Well, when we watch movies, we always pray that the main characters end up together. Everybody would get so sad if they don’t, right? But could you support the same version of the screenplay in your own life? How brave are you really when it comes to love? How far would you go for it? Would you run away? Would you change your life forever? Go against all odds and risk it all? Would you follow your heart?
If I were Elizabeth from “Eat, Pray, Love”, would I really took that journey or just stayed with David, vanishing in a daily routine?
If I were Allie from “The Notebook”, would I be brave enough to choose Noah in the end? Or would I choose an easier option instead?
If my life was a movie I watched as I teenager, would I love it? And if I didn’t, would I played it differently later? Would I make the same choices if I got the second chance?