Wednesday, May 14, 2008

the moviegoer's war

I just watched Charlie Wilson's War and I loved it. While the film is supposedly extremely accurate, it is, none the less, a glorification film. You know how I know that? Because I want to be a Senator now. How cool would it be to use your political know-how to raise money to kill commies, while being drunk on scotch the entire time? But after I laid on the couch for about twenty minutes dreaming about political stardom, I came to the all important realization: it was just a movie. Don't get me wrong; I love a good glorification movie. I wanted to be a cop after LA Confidential, a man with no conscience after Wedding Crashers, a play-write after Finding Neverland, a woman after Pride & Prejudice, a genius after Good Will Hunting, a timecop after... Timecop. The grass is always greener, though, isn't it? I mean, come on, let's get real; think about what Jean Claude has to go through everyday as a time-traveling cop. How could you raise a family like that? How could your digestive system cope with all the different types of food? Most of ours can't even handle a trip to China; how about a trip to the 18th century? Didn't think so.

But this is a realization one usually must come to after watching a movie, be it a comedy, musical, or horror. Just a movie. I say 'usually' because there are certain movies for each of us that, after which, we choose to remain in. Most of us boys are still dancing atop the brightly lit staircase in the carbonite chamber on Cloud City, doing "impressive" back-flips and wielding our blue lightsabers (I can't believe 'carbonite' and lightsaber' have red squiggly lines underneath them; welcome to the nineties, spell check). Most girls are still soaring, tumbling, and freewheeling on a magic carpet ride over Agrabah, as they sing at the top of their lungs about being in love. Okay, boys too...

My point is that when we go see a movie, we are supposed to "suspend disbelief", and when the movie is over, we are supposed reclaim our faculties, and live reasonable existences. But do we really have to? I don't think so. Am I the only one that actually prayed to God that he would give me superpowers after watching Superman as a kid? Maybe, but I bet most of us are still living in the fantasy of some film we've seen in the past, and I think that's okay. If I want to be a Senator someday, after serving time as a Navy pilot (Top Gun), a mobster (Usual Suspects), and a husband (Father of the Bride, both parts), then that's my right!

So, raise whatever you got. Here's to living in a dreamworld!


To explain my prayer for superpowers: I remember it vividly. I was about 10, and I was sitting on the toilet. I remember thinking seriously about whether superheros existed, and, realizing that they didn't, I began to bargain with God. I told him that I would be a really humble superhero; I would be like those pro athletes who always give glory to God in the beginning of their post-game interviews (obviously, that's why God gave them their athletic powers). But I was greedy. I had so many superpowers in mind, I couldn't focus on just one; I just remember muttering solemnly, "God, give me a superpower." Unsure which one he might have given me, I stuck out my right hand, folded my middle two fingers into my palm, flexed my arm as hard as I could, and aimed at the wall. No web came out.
I remain a mere human to this day.


By the way, I'm not really engaged.


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