I don’t know about you, but the ideal mandate for me is going to a movie with a couple of guy friends, and then head straight for the IHOP. I can take or leave gun shows, Irish pubs, etc. For me, a movie and a pancake dinner is about as good as it gets. This is precisely what me, Seth, and Nicholas decided to do one night. Seth and I chose the latest romantic comedy (I can’t remember if it was a Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, Natalie Portman, whatever!). We were excited about our choice, but Nicholas wasn’t. He explicitly expressed his disappointment as we went into the movie, during the movie, and after the movie while we were waiting for our pancake dinner.
While we were sitting there, Seth and I went back and forth about our favorite parts in the movie. Our exuberance about the triumph of love over obstacle was downright sickening to Nicholas. He sat there with his arms crossed and a snarl on his face. He contributed nothing to the conversation, but a sour mood. At some point, Seth changed the conversation. He looked at Nicholas, and then at me with a smile on his face and said: “he doesn’t get it, does he?”
Nicholas replied: “what is there to get? Stupid guy has no girl. Hot chick comes into stupid guy’s life. Stupid guy falls in love with girl. She says no, and then yes, and then no until he finally persuads her with all the sickening pathos in the world, and then finally she says yes, and then they kiss. And now stupid actor playing stupid guy needs to find a new stupid movie contract if he’s going to pay next month’s bills!”
I don’t remember my response nor Seth’s. However, what this anecdote exemplifies is the different attitudes moviegoers possess in relation to the stories they entertain. So: why does anyone watch a movie, let alone a romantic comedy?
I certainly cannot speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself. I love to watch movies because very often the characters possess, live with, struggle against, and finds fulfillment in their deep desires. So, I love to watch “stupid guy” fall in love with “hot chick” because, especially at that time, I felt like stupid guy. I wanted to know if there were any other stupid guys out there like me. I wanted to know the patterns to expect in a love story. I wanted to see if I could discern any wisdom that could be obtained in knowing other love stories. Ultimately, I wanted to situate my own life story in relation and connection to other “stupid guys.”
Oh, and by the way, just in case you are wondering. Seth and I both found our “hot chick.”