I have never claimed to be any sort of film critic, but I have seen a lot of different movies, everything from artsy foreign films to stupid-fun action movies. Through every movie, I've learned a lot about how humans see the world and how sometimes a movie can say exactly what we need to hear. There is a little something that I think everyone in their twenties can get from this little list of films (in no particular order):
1) Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)
“It’s All Happening.”
First of all, this movie is incredibly underrated. If you love music, this movie is a must-see. There is a phrase they use throughout the entire film, “It’s all happening.” I have tried to explain what this means to people who haven’t seen the movie time and again, but it is admittedly difficult. So I’m going to try my best. I think that people get so caught up in the past and the future that when it comes down to it, it is really difficult to remain planted in the present. Especially people in their twenties. We get so caught up in societal pressures of how successful we are going to be, or where we are going to be in five years, or even who we are going to marry. We forget what it means to be a human and that all we have in the end is the present. Because the past we cannot change, and the future won’t always be there. So don’t worry too much, enjoy where you’re at right now. Because indeed, it is all happening.
2) Romeo and Juliet (Baz Luhrmann, 1996)
Bear with me on this one!
I know that we all saw this, what some may describe as crappy, version of Shakespeare’s classic play when we were in high school. I think though that I didn’t appreciate this film/book for everything it was the first time I saw it. There are obvious things to be learned about love from this movie, we can all agree on that. But I think when you come at it from a different perspective, it changes everything you thought you knew.
1) Don’t have regrets
2) Don’t get too caught up in what love is
What I learned most from this story is how everything is a domino effect, and how one beautiful thing is worth more than all the shitty things. If Romeo hadn’t have crashed the Capulets party, he never would have met his great love. If one tiny thing would have changed, we possibly wouldn’t have the greatest love story of all time. And that is the way to look at it.
The shitty things have to happen for the great things to do so. Without falling apart, nothing would come together. Without failing that class, you wouldn’t have learned something about yourself. Without getting laid off, you wouldn’t have found your dream job. Often we get so caught up in how horrible things can be that we forget the amazing moments that come out of that. Things may be tough, but something great will come to you because of it.
The second important thing that I think you need to hear at this time in your life is that you can’t get caught up in certain societal ideas of love, including your own fantasies of what love should be. Being in love, or out of love, is going to look different to everyone. And that is okay. Don’t lose yourself in a relationship, yes. But also don’t lose out on the one truly magical experience we are allowed to have because of what others think they know about it. I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t read too much into the place you may or may not be romantically in your life right now. Feel everything. Cherish everything. That is the most important part.
3) The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky, 2012)
Honestly, this book and movie mean the absolute world to me. When I was in high school, I saw Perks for the first time (I later read the book by Stephen Chbosky, and I always read the book first so don’t judge me). At this particular time in my life, I needed so badly to hear so many of the things in that film. The idea of ‘infinite moments has stuck with me to this day. I am completely obsessed with this idea that one moment can change everything; that one moment can last forever. I have this specific memory of high school. I was going to Junior Prom with my closest friends and the boy I assumed to be the love of my life. I was driving in a limo and ‘Midnight City’ by M83 came on. The giggling in that car, the sunset outside, the perfect song at the perfect time, they all made me feel so…there. It was all happening. Everything, for that few minutes, was perfect. And beautiful. And lovely. It didn’t matter that up until that high school had been shit, and that the rest of my high school career would be shit. None of that mattered, all I held onto was the one moment in which infinity existed. I look back on it now and realize there haven’t been a ton of those moments in my life, but those are the moments I think of the most. Listening to my favorite record in my studio apartment with my boyfriend, driving in a Jeep on the streets of Monterey with the top down, watching the ocean at night with my best friend, not saying anything at all. It doesn’t matter that everything doesn’t really matter, or that life is just a bunch of experiences built up. All that matters is the beauty of those moments when we feel like everything is what we want it to be.
I may see the world through rose-colored glasses. Or maybe I’ve just learned to look for all the things that life is trying to say. I hope that you cherish these things as much as I do, and try to really take something away from the world around you. Even if it is something as simple as a movie.