People, Wake Up! The Movies Have it Wrong!

December 21, 2009 at 5:20 am | Posted in On this journey... | 6 Comments

Love birds Ellie and Carl in Pixar's Up.

If you’re sentimental like me, you may share the same feeling that Pixar’s latest masterpiece, Up, is one of the most romantic and beautiful stories of our time. And it really is. This movie tugs at every emotional string in your body, because it is a story that believes in love.

Come to think of it, most movies believe in love in one way or another..even the cynical ones! I think that is why we enjoy watching them so much…because they work their magic in making us believe that fairy tale love, love where you feel like you’re flying high beyond the moon, is actually possible. It is funny how after a 120 minute film, we can suddenly feel hopeful of what the future may hold. But who am I fooling? Who actually believes in pure love?

Pure love is not REALITY. Love, if anything, is the greasy popcorn aftermath that you have to time and time again, clean up. If only it didn’t taste so good, we’d stop grabbing for it.

In my 26 years of existence, I’ve often been accused of being quite the dreamer…but, can anyone blame me? How would an accusation such as this be remotely fair if I’ve been drowned with silly love stories like Roman Holiday, Amelie, Sleepless in Seattle,  Gone with the Wind, and even Lady and the Tramp, since I was six years old?

Sleepless in Seattle

I’m tired of living in a dream world! It’s time to wake up. I need to process the fact that I’m not going to step out of my apartment tomorrow and into a world of romance. What I’m going to wake up to is a bar of dudes checking their iPhones every 5 minutes. But that’s ok because from this day forward, I’m going to accept it. I just have to come to the realization that I live in a day and age where a text message two weeks later signifies that he is semi-interested. Ugh!

Anyway, enough sighing…because ladies and gents, there is hope! In my quest to tone down my hopeless romantic self, I’ve entered the quest to find movies that tell real stories. I present:


1. (500)Days of Summer Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. Directed by Marc Webb.

If you haven’t seen this movie, please, see it. It comes out on DVD this Tuesday 12/22. A well-performed, smart and quirky work about a love that does not end up with the happy ending that you think! Helps put the emotion of love in perspective, and offers an alternative sense of hope. Oh, and the soundtrack rocks.

2. High Fidelity starring John Cusack. Directed by Stephen Frears

“Hey, I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but I’m certainly not the dumbest. I mean, I’ve read books like “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and “Love in the Time of Cholera”, and I think I’ve understood them. They’re about girls, right? Just kidding. But I have to say my all-time favorite book is Johnny Cash’s autobiography “Cash” by Johnny Cash.”- Rob Gordon

This has by far become my movie of the year. So much so, that I want it to be re-released in theaters! I’ll admit, I think I’ve watched it at least 20 times since April. This movie is pure genius, because it is a real story. This is reality. Things are messy, emotions are questioned…we are confused individuals when it comes to love!

So what are you waiting for?? Log- on to Netflix already! It’s time that you see these movies again, for the first time.



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  1. If you are talking about pure love as you would talk about say pure cocaine… then yes pure love exists. But just like cocaine, love gets stepped on and cut in order to increase profits and volume. People are only willing to shell out so much to get back as much as possible in the return. Now i have no idea of who you are and what kind of person you carry your self as (truth be told i only stumbled across this because i clicked a link on ryan doyle’s fledgling webpage) but i feel that someone who is also twenty-six should hold down the fort when it comes to having a positive view of “love.” But before i get into that i’m just going to go into a quick break down of the films you mentioned.

    Up – easily the most depressing childrens movie i have ever seen. within the first twenty five minutes the main character goes through adoration, love, grief, displacement of grief, severe loss, and then property loss. this movie wasn’t about “pure” love as much as it was about finding the strength to go on once love is lost, but not forgotten.

    Roman Holiday – ends with the two people being seperated by their lives responsibilities.

    Amelie – ends with the girl finding enough confidence to actually enter into a relationship. leaves no direct fact that she lives happily ever after.

    Sleeples in Seattle – i can’t say that i’ve ever watched anything with meg ryan other than inner space so i can presume you are correct on this one.

    Gone with the Wind – every woman has a miscarridge, everyone is in love with someone they aren’t coupled with, the mothers hate their children, and the men get drunk or die in war. i cannot comprehend how this is not an example of love in the setting of reality.

    Lady and the Tramp – an animated film for children made in 1955, clearly the ending will be happy.

    as far as dudes in bars playing with their iphones, the same could be said about women and their GD blackberry’s that they are constantly fiddling with and messaging their gal pals who also have blackberry’s (i’m not even sure the proper spelling of this if it should be blackberrrys, black berry’s, or blackberries.) BUT, i digress. if these are the kind of men you choose to talk to, how can you not expect a certain level of douchebagginess from them? and yes, i understand that some people simply play with their phones out of nervousness or lack of something better to do to appear as though they are important/cool by constantly being plagued by phone calls and text messages. but still, if someone pays more attention to their gadgets, be it man or woman, than a person who might be interested in them, clearly they are idiots and deserve to be with one of their own ilk.

    to give up on the possibility of romance or the concept of romance, well, you might as well throw in the towel in on life right now. is it possible to be single all your life and be happy with just a close circle of friends but nothing closer? sure. is there anyone on this earth that would choose that situation over having said friends with the ultimate bonus of having a lover/loved one who is also your best friend? i highly doubt it. and to take a back seat to finding a mate, then someone else who is still in the game will more than likely wind up with a person you could have been more than happy with.

    pure love also brings about the classic debate of could there be good without evil? if you went through life blissfully 24/7, would you fail to recognize the state of happiness after awhile, or would you actually stay numb to the world, covered in your yolk of happiness. i am not the most educated man, and so i have no answers for these questions. but i do know that i would rather hope that some where out there two people are finding each other happy together for a short period of time than never at all.

    in keeping with Nick Hornby’s 1995 novel high fidelity, i give my top 5 songs that keep me believing in romance/love (in no particular order):

    1: Baby, I love you – as performed by The Ramones (although i have no beef with the original Ronettes version)
    2: Cupid – Sam Cooke
    3: New Years Project – Further Seems Forever
    4: Unchained Melody – Bobby Hatfield
    5: These Arms of Mine – Otis Redding

    apologies if any of this comes off as though i am on the attack. i’m simply on the defense.

  2. I like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep for the jaded and jilted lover in me. I do have to say that having little to no expectations in love makes an actual nice and decent relationship even better…if not a little overwhelming. I guess you just have to accept relationships for what they are, not always everlasting, but always thought provoking and interesting. They make you grow, so you have to be thankful for that.
    so says the zen master!??? i’m just reading this off my yogi tea bag label,honestly.

  3. You forgot one of the cheesiest love movies ever: Titanic. Also, Romeo and Juliet (the newer one). How hard were those two movies secretly cherished by me as a young and unheartbroken girl? So hard. Definitely going to re-watch High Fidelity now.

  4. Top five movies that portray the darker edge of love semi-realistically (that I can think of right now):

    1: Away We Go – (Saw it for the first time the other night, pretty good.) Just because we have found the love of our life, that doesn’t figure out the rest of our life for us.

    2: Grosse Pointe Blank – (More Cusack) love doesn’t always mesh with who we are, and it might get you killed.

    3: Up – (ok, i’ll give it to you, the image of their two chairs and the moment when their hands meet without their looking.) It sucks when someone dies, especially if that someone was your someone. Plus, with Doug and the kid, love is often unrequited.

    4: Royal Tennanbaums – love is thwarted because of things we’ve done in the past, the beloved is not interested/has lost interest or circumstances beyond our control make it impossible.

    5: Lost in Translation – love doesn’t necassarily last forever, or long at all, we can screw it up easily. Also: love is subtle and ultimately, a secret between two people.

    Might have worn the High Fidelity theme too thin, but one more quote about real love I have found true:
    “She didn’t make me miserable, or anxious, or ill at ease. You know, it sounds boring, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t spectacular either. It was just good. But really good.”

  5. […] Desert Island list for Unraveling the Mystery comments Posted on December 21, 2009Response to Unraveling the Mystery: People, Wake Up! The Movies Have it Wrong […]

  6. …have you seen “Love and Sex”?

    Quite well written.
    Great realistic approach to love.

    Eternal Sunshine was good too,
    but Anna already got that one.

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