Characters??? lives welcome

December 15, 2010


I am always open to ideas that would let me escape my current life and start a new circumstance. Sure I go on trips, but I haven’t uprooted myself since 1994. So while I work out a plan for moving to London (as friends and longtime readers will know I want to do), I instead like to lose myself in a good flick. There are three whose characters’ situations I empathize with the most.

(The latest: my plan for getting to London has basically become to wait out the crap economy until I can sell my condo and lose less than the 25% that I estimate would be the case in the near future. That, and my rabbit is becoming elderly and though he’s very spunky and healthy, I wouldn’t want to subject him to the stress. I know, convenient excuses for inaction. But I digress.)

It should come as a surprise to no one that I love Bridget Jones. I read the books, I watch the movies over and over and over. I want her life because she is a single career girl (sort of) in London surrounded by good friends. It’s mostly the London part that I want, and I know I’d have three good friends to start (hello, M, S, and D!). I’m a graphic designer and writer, and those skills are pretty portable. Though unlike Bridget, the singleton aspect of my life wouldn’t bother me very much at all.

In that regard, I might be a little more like Frances in “Under the Tuscan Sun.” That character lives out the ultimate version of my fantasy. She sees and she stays. Other than the unacknowledged dissatisfaction with her circumstances after her divorce, there is no preplanning to her hopping off the tour bus and not looking back. If I had the cash, I’d absolutely embrace that kind of spontaneity. I get weepy every time that bird poops on her head and the old woman decides to sell the house to her.

Frances worries that she’ll never find love again, but it isn’t until she stops looking so hard that it comes her way. That’s what I always say. I am quite happy being on my own and am not looking to get hitched (unlike Bridget), but figure someday love might find me in its own time (as Frances eventually accepts).

And why is it that I think I need to go somewhere else to be happy? Just ask Arthur Dent. I suppose to an outsider, my life looks just fine, but I want more. Not in a greedy, materialistic way, but in a way in which I could feel more fulfilled. Because I don’t. And like Arthur, I can’t quite muster the ambition to be better than my just-gettiing-by self. I want better, but good enough is good enough. So why wouldn’t it be fun to have your life/world/universe turned upside down in the space of an hour? I’m sure that in a new situation I would, for a while anyway, be able to become greater than I currently am.

But for now, I settle for feeling it vicariously through these movies.


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