A Valentine’s Trio

Happy Valentine’s Day!

In honour of today, the Film Queue decided that all of us would talk about three films we unabashedly love. It was an interesting task because I had a group of favourites I knew I would choose from, but picking just three was extremely difficult. I chose movies that I know I will never forget. Ones I will always return to no matter what.


Fair warning, there may be spoilers.

1. (500) Days of Summer (2009)

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The first time I watched this movie I absolutely loved it. There was one particular moment in the film that made me fall in love with it. It was the moment I truly identified with Tom. He became one of the first characters I truly saw myself in, and it was simultaneously heartbreaking and validating. Heartbreaking because Tom was stupid in his actions when pursuing love. Validating because there was someone out there just as stupid as me.

I came to many realizations in that moment. In many ways, as dramatic as it sounds, simply rewatching that movie at the right time in my life saved me from more heartache. I was able to realize my own faults, and how I let the expectations of a relationship overshadow reality. I love this film because of its honesty. So many of us are Tom. So many of us are Summer. Some of us are the supportive friends/family caught in between. I’m sure many of us had a moment when you meet someone great and you begin to idealize them. We end up with broken hearts because we were blind to their shortcomings. We project an image of what we want them to be. Summer told Tom repeatedly what she wanted and who she was, yet he still ignored it. He only sees what they could be, not what they are. Which is why I love the heavy theme of exceptions versus reality. We tend to let expectations run wild, and in the end, all your left with is the harsh reality that the person isn’t right for you. They never were.

So many things shape this expectation in our minds, and the film comments on this. Pop culture fills our minds with the idea of a “happily ever after” so often, it’s hard to imagine anything else. We project this narrative onto every relationship. Are they “the one”, will we be together “forever”?

Towards the end, when Summer and Tom are together on the bench, she tells him he wasn’t wrong about his ideas of love, he was just wrong about her. I think this is an interesting moment because it shows that maybe the “forever” type of love does exist, but it won’t exist in every person you meet. Some relationships are meant to be temporary, and that’s okay. Impermanence does not have to equal meaninglessness.

This film is not a love story. It’s so much more. It will always have a special place in my heart.

2. This is the End (2013)

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My reasoning for being in love with this movie is simple: it’s absolutely hilarious. 

If I were to choose a favourite type of comedy it would definitely be dirty humour. When you have a film that is not based on dirty jokes but then goes on a long tangent about masturbation, how could I not love it? I cry of laughter every time I watch it. It’s some of the most fun I’ve ever had as a viewing experience. I honestly think I could quote this entire movie.

By being complete idiots, all of the cast are simply making fun of themselves in the best way possible.

This film is such an easy, feel good watch. It’s one of the few films that I can turn my brain off and just enjoy. I refuse to ruin it with over thinking and over analyzing. It’s great filmmaking in its most basic sense, as entertainment and enjoyment. This Is The End will always have my undying love.

3. Her (2013)

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This is one of those films that stays with you long after the credits finish rolling. It is a complex view of love, life, humanity, and technology. What is love? How do we love? What does it mean to be human? Is love restricted to humans? The metaphysical themes that are examined are amazing. It doesn’t seek to answer any questions, simply to explore them.

The film approaches artificial intelligence and technological singularity in a more realistic sense. AIs and humans making genuine connections feels more realistic than AIs becoming sinister or taking over the world. While it is a scary thought that technology could surpass human levels of comprehension, I love that the film opts to explore the dimensions of a relationship instead; how intricate and convoluted it can be. Yet, how intimate, sweet, and life changing.

Many aspects of this film have relevance to human relationships. One of the main elements I took away from it is that sometimes love isn’t enough to maintain a relationship. Sometimes we’re better off letting people go. Samantha learned this for herself, and in turn, Theodore learned this lesson as well. Despite all this, the film doesn’t end on a sad note, you’re left feeling almost hopeful that everything will okay. 

I was given a lot to think about in terms of my own life and relationships. It had a tremendous impact on me. I think that’s the main reason I will always absolutely love Her.

One more addition to this list of love is my Valentine’s Day crush. I pondered this longer than I did the movies I chose. I ultimately decided to go with Michael B. Jordan. If you haven’t seen Creed, go watch that movie and you’ll be in love too.

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Once again, happy Valentine’s Day! I hope it’s filled with happiness and love.

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