When reports surfaced about Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Deply making a film called Before Midnight, I was probably the happiest person on Earth.
I fell in love with Before Sunrise. I cried during Before Sunset. And by cried I meant, sobbing uncontrollably for ten minutes. My tears started to swell on the part where Celine broke down. When she hugged Jesse while saying “I want to see if you stay together or if you dissolve into molecules.” I was already bawling my eyes out. Two people shamelessly declaring their love for each other is enough for the my tears to flood. These two films hold the dearest in my heart being intensely written and naturally acted. But this would take another journal.
For years, romantic films are like my own french fries, they bring me comfort every time. Serendipity is probably the movie that ruined my high school romantic life. When I liked a guy, I would ask for signs. And basing on the signs that I was looking for, I already had three soul mates. And then I stopped believing in it. As you grow up, you’ll eventually realize which things to hold on to and to let go. The only thing I held on to about this movie is the Nick Drake song.
And who could forget A Walk to Remember? I never told anyone this story before but I came to a point in life, when I told someone “Promise me, you’ll never fell in love with me.” That was after a guy I liked made a habit of visiting me between classes in high school. And that guy has a little bit of Landon Carter in him. We eventually dated and broke up after graduation. And while he remained as the person I consider my high school love, he is already married. Maybe life is like that, it brings you people who would make you look back one day and smile because of embarrassment.
My So-Called Life also played a huge role in my so-called life. My notebooks would contain quotes from Angela Chase. Lines like “Life is a prison and the crime is how much we hate ourselves.” If we count the years, Jared Leto would be my longest crush but look at the man, he doesn’t age. I sometimes would look at him with the same teenage eyes and tell myself, some things does not change.
Perhaps the craziest obsession I had with a film is with 500 Days of Summer. Apart from the lovely template Marc Webb created for the movie, the awesome music, Joseph Gordon Levitt’s charming smile and Zooey Deschanel’s beautiful dresses, the story of a hippie love appeals to a commitment phobic romanticist, like me. My friend would tell me that the movie has changed into “5,000 Days of Summer” because of the number of times I watched it. I could recite the lines along with all the scene sequence in perfection (yes, try me). I never really learned a thing about this movie, only that love oftentimes end in a Sid Viscious-Nancy Spungen way and love makes you dance to a Hall and Oates song.
If I was a character in a romantic film, I think I would be Katarina Stratford in 10 Things I Hate About You. Although I have yet to pull off that sarcastic “I want you. I need you. Oh baby. Oh baby.” in front of a self aware, curly haired stunner. I have mastered the smart-ass, socially relevant feminisms that she perfected on the film. I also want to have my own Patrick Verona who would give me a Fender Strat every time he screws up. Among all of these things our most common denominator would be no matter how unbreakable we think our principles are, they always get broken by some charming guy who can sweep us off our feet with a song.
My friends blame these movies for my lack of real life romance. I’d like to think that the screen romance in my life is enough to compensate the lack of real life romance. Besides,I can have a romantic relationship with Joseph Gordon Levitt without him breaking up with me. And if he does, it would be easier to take.
Maybe I’m like Summer before she met Tom, who marvels at the fact that she can cut her hair without getting hurt. Or maybe I’m just like Celine and Jesse waiting for a second chance with the one who got away. I’m just another hopeless romantic whose delusions about love is not yet diluted by the acid of realities. My blockbuster love story is yet to be penned and for sure it would be like no other film ever made, because it’s going to be real.