Empire State of Mind

Originally written November 25, 2012

When Harry Met Sally. Sleepless in Seattle. While You Were Sleeping. If I learned anything from watching romantic comedies, it’s that these fairytales are just that, tales — tales spun by dreamers who sprinkle them with pixie dust and cast them off with the wind, waiting to fall on the shoulder of a young woman, who then hears a faint but distinct whisper that tells her to polish off the dusty dream of her very own Happily Ever After.

Sally hated Harry. No love at first sight there. Sam lost his wife. Annie and Walter were two rights that make a wrong. And Lucy? Why, she fell in love with the wrong brother.

Funny that I am writing this as I sit inside a plane. I realized after my first full viewing of Sleepless and a little bit of An Affair to Remember too in a sense, that I have been to New York City, but I have never been to the top of the Empire State Building. Maybe there’s a reason I have not felt compelled to visit the well-known landmark. Maybe on the day that I finally make my way up to the top, there he will be, waiting. And we’ll look into each other’s eyes and really see each other for the first time. He’ll take my hand, and as we touch, there it is. Magic.

Or not. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks can keep their scene to themselves, thank you very much.

Far from illustrating ideals that women (and men) should aspire to, rom-coms tend to propagate unrealistic and fantastic archetypes and expectations. No one should have to compete with those adorably flawed and perfectly imperfect creatures. Real life has already given us more than enough stuff to deal with.

So what exactly am I taking away from all these gooey, over-sentimental big screen romps? Why am I writing this with my heart still recovering from the meltdown wrought by that particularly stirring closing scene? (Really, I am not kidding! I am still entranced by its ending. It’s probably one of the cheesiest scenes I have ever seen in my life. And that ‘magic’ bit is so unbearably corny! But. I. Just. Can’t. Help. It… So sue me.) I am simply reminded of my belief that everyone is entitled to his or her own fairytale. It doesn’t have an expiry date, nor does it have to – how I hope not – adhere to Hollywood formula. Life is not like in the movies, and that is absolutely fine. We all think we know that, but a little reminding once in a while won’t hurt. I prefer mine to be written with my own hand anyway. A clumsy, somewhat naïve writer though I am.

Tschüs!

PS

I still have so many things from 2012 to tell you! This is my first step to conquering my blogging backlog. I will start gnawing away at it again soon!

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4 thoughts on “Empire State of Mind

  1. “I’ve heard criticism of….films that they’re ‘not very realistic’ — my feeling of that is that, actually, people are too realistic. We create the world we want. If you want to be more romantic, be so– the world will deliver.”
    KITFR (18/7/2009)

    1. I love movies. They don’t just provide an escape from the harshness and boredom of reality, as some people might think. They are actually very inspiring. They do draw from real life, and they in turn make life more interesting and promising.

      I’m not hating on romantic comedies. ‘When Harry Met Sally’ is actually one of my favorites. I’m only saying that while they do present a certain ideal of how romance should be, we should not limit ourselves to them.

      Thanks for visiting the site and for commenting, Paul! Have a good 2013!

      1. Thanks for the welcome!
        My comment was actually a quote from a review of You’ve Got Mail that a friend of mine posted back in 2009. I only posted it because I thought you might find it interesting.
        I actually think you and I are very much on the same wavelength when it comes to those romantic movies you mentioned.
        One last point, in your last sentence you claim to be a clumsy and naive writer. You’re far too modest; because you’re actually very accomplished and entertaining.

        Best Wishes for 2013!

      2. So that’s what it is. I was trying to figure out who or what you were quoting. Hehe. I did find it interesting.

        It’s only recently that I started to appreciate romantic comedies. They’ve become sort of rays of sunshine on cloudy days.

        Thanks so much for the compliment! It means a lot to know that other people actually appreciate what I’ve put up here. 🙂

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