By Holly A. Phillips
Almost a year ago, to the date, I invited my new boyfriend over for the first time on a Sunday night. It was raining, and once he parked his car, I ran outside to meet him.
I was wearing a button-down pajama set under a leopard trench coat. It felt, and perhaps looked, like a scene from a movie.
Until he told me I looked like an idiot.
It should come as no surprise that the only films our relationship resembled were “Barfly,” combined with scenes from “Fatal Attraction,” and lines from “Reservoir Dogs.”
I’m always hoping I’ll find myself in a relationship resembling the plot of a Nicholas Sparks’-based film—or anything of the sort, I’m not picky. I’ve already got the Southern town thing going, now I just need a muscled-man with a dog and manners to save me from a deadly fire.
Yes, I know, the movies are scripted. But is it innocent or fatal for me to dream of a relationship that would fit on the big screen?
I went to see “The Lucky One,” based off of Sparks’ novel, at the midnight premier in 2012. The theatre was packed, and I was sitting next to a random patron’s boyfriend, whom I’m guessing was dragged along.
There I was, watching the movie with my mouth hanging open as Logan (played by Zac Efron) unloaded bags of dog food from his old truck, arms bulging. Random Boyfriend elbowed me, and shared his wisdom:
“Hey, those bags aren’t really that heavy,” he said.
On the outside, I gave him a quick smile, but inside I was cursing him to stop ruining my fantasy.
Looking back, maybe he was just letting me down easy. By definition, a fantasy is something that’s impossible—or, only possible in our imaginations.
But the movies have impact on relationships in other ways, too. Going to see a flick is a classic date idea, which is why you’ll often find me sitting solo in the theatre.
Watching a movie with someone is a good way to find out more about a person. Do they laugh at the same things as you do? Similar sense of humor. Are they going to pump lots of butter on the popcorn? Appreciates the finer things in life. Do they text during the movie? Rebellious.
I had a movie-going buddy that joined me for the AMC Classic Series at Perkins Rowe, and we even hosted our own Wes Anderson movie night. Often, our movie nights ended with a kiss (or four), until I found out he had a secret girlfriend. Again, not the movie relationship I dreamed of.
Maybe it’s not my movie-like-relationship fantasy that’s getting me in trouble, it might be the men I’m attracted to. One of my favorite movies is “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” and to be honest, I think I’ve got a little crush on Bueller (…anyone?).
He’s the cool guy, who defies authority with wit and charm, can rock a white leather jacket, doesn’t believe in “isms,” and takes full advantage of a sunny day.
But it’s those adventure-seekers that are up for things I’m not okay with, such as cheating on their spouse, stealing from their place of employment, or living two lives.
If I lust after a nicer character, maybe Tom (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) from “500 Days of Summer,” I can catch a winner—you know, someone who writes greeting cards and plays house in Ikea stores.
It’s easy to get caught up in movie-like ideals, especially when nearly everything—even reality television—is scripted. Living in a city that’s often the backdrop for the big screen might also lend a hand to our imaginations.
When I get down to it, my life is like a movie, it’s just more like “The Breakup,” and not “When Harry Met Sally.” But the cool thing about that is, I get to write my own lines, set the scenes, and most importantly, pick the characters.
I like previews, so I’ll tell you what to expect for the film of my life: comedy, a little heartbreak, lots of Baton Rouge sunsets, red lipstick, and, maybe when the credits roll, Zac Efron’s name will be at the top.
Read more about Holly’s cinematic life on her blog, TheBitterLemon.com.