Thursday, September 6, 2007

2 Days in Paris and then months and years and...

So, tonight I saw Julie Delpy's new flick 2 Days in Paris.  Overall, I guess the movie was pretty good.  It raises some age-old questions about life and love and how the two mix together, which are all pretty typical and not unlike other movies of the same genre, albiet the characters are more likely to be reversed.  However, to have written, directed, edited, starred in and everything else, Julie Delpy did an awesome job.

There is a typical introduction period at the beginning of the film that attempts to familiarize the audience with the characters and their two-year relationship.  This part of the film seemed a little too flat and forced to me, but an introduction is required, so that check box is marked.  Besides the flatness during the introduction was the fact that the characters weren't lovable.  Isn't it always great to fall in love with one, or both of the, characters and then follow along--leaving your heart crushed or euphoric by the end of the movie?  These characters were just regular people, nothing really too special about them, just a couple......maybe that was her point.  If that was her point, what do you think she might be saying?  That we idealize people (in Hollywood movies and in reality) and see things in them that don't really exist, or just think they exist until one day we wake up and realize that they don't and never did?  Just because we want things to be so doesn't really make them so, right?  Or, can it become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

For example, a nurse I used to work with (we'll call her Robin--mainly because that was her name) always seemed to live in this little fantasy world.  She was a 43 year-old divorcee with two grown children.  She was very good at managing her finances and actually was able to pay off her mortgage early and afford to buy her youngest son a slightly used car for about $12,000 in cash before he left for college.  Rarely do you see single parents in financial situations like that--especially since I knew the salary I was paying her.  But, despite her fiscal conservativism, she created a very elaborate world around herself.  She believed people were certain ways or carried particular characteristics because that is what she wanted them to be or portray.  When she spoke to others about these traits, and people disagreed with her or didn't see the same things as Robin saw, she would just laugh it off or say something like, "I know," as she giggled her way out of the conversation and the room.  The thing about it all, she was always so much happier than the rest of us--who actually lived in a shared common reality.

Scientists have found that when people are slightly depressed, they actually have a pretty good grasp on reality, whereas when they're happy or sad, their view tends to be slightly more skewed with optimism or pessimism, respectively.  Now, I in now way think that is an endorsement for trying to achieve a permanent state of mild depression just to maintain a firm grip on reality, because we actually need to be optimistic to move forward and make progress and, likewise, pessimistic to slow down and take note.  But I do find it kind of enlightening to know that we probably project certain personality traits and characteristics onto people and then believe they are like that.  When they do something that is incongruous with those traits we are disappointed and shocked.  Who's to blame here--them or us?

I have lots more to say on this topic but the hour groweth late and my eyelids becometh heavy so I will close.  What are your thoughts?  Do you think we actually accept and see people as they are, or as we want to see them, or as we want them to be?  Do you think this is something we've learned as members of society?  Are we conditioned to it, or is completely natural?  What about love?  Do you think love works the same way?  This was the major theme in the film.

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