Well, it’s 8:30 on a Saturday night, and I just got caught flat-footed by, of all things, an amateur movie review.
I was online at a new movie review site that I just found, Mutant Reviewers From Hell (www.mutantreviewers.com). Because basically, it’s nice to hear the opinion of some regular people who never went to film school and don’t get paid to watch movies and either (A) find some redeeming quality to some limited-release art film or (B) pick a commercial success apart at the seams. You know, nobody expects to walk away from Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby with a new perspective on life, people. But I digress…
So anyway, I wanted to see what the mutant reviewers had to say about Lost In Translation, a movie I tried and wanted to like, but didn’t. Really didn’t. Aside from the moment of humor I gleaned from the in-joke of five minutes of Japanese being translated as a single four-word English sentence, I just couldn’t like this movie. And two out of three mutants agreed with me. But smack in the middle of the third review, I read this:
See, Iâ€™ve always found that the people who get me most clearly and understand what I mean when I philosophize out loud, there isnâ€™t attraction between us. Itâ€™s difficult to flirt with these people, because I feel like they get it, they see right through me, they know my intentions and I know theirs. Thereâ€™s no fun giggling or toying or guessing between me and these people. And the people I have had that flirtatious relationship with, they always sort of stare at me blankly when I try to explain why Iâ€™m feeling melancholy that day. It lead me to believe that maybe you arenâ€™t â€œsupposed toâ€ fall in love with someone who understands you completely. Maybe that would be perfect, and maybe that would take all the necessary struggle and pain out of love. And with that, the fun.
Now, I’m not exactly a raging flirt, never have been.Â And my romantic experience in life has been, on the whole, pretty limited.Â But right there, this person managed to encapsulate something I’ve tried to explain, to myself as much as to anyone else, my personal theory on “chemistry.”
I’ll be blunt here: in many ways, Chris does not “get” me.Â I get the blank stare from him frequently. Â But the thing is, I’ve never really thought that wasn’t the way things are supposed to be.Â Marriage is supposed to be a long, enjoyable, complex mystery that you spend your life exploring, but not necessarily solving.
There have been people in my life, male and female, who immediately “got” me, and I immediately “got” them, to the extent that it was frighteningly like a weird form of telepathy.Â And like “Nancy” from mutantreviewers, I couldn’t imagine being in a romantic or sexual relationship with the men, simply because when you start out on that level of intellectual and emotional intimacy, it’s sort of like watching the last five minutes of “The Sixth Sense” at the beginning.Â It sort of makes watching the rest of the movie a bit pointless, at least from the standpoint of plot.
What it doesn’t render pointless, is the character development.Â I think “romance,” by it’s very nature, has to have this element of story, of narrative.Â Conflict, resolution, rising action, all that jazz.Â But friendship is an entirely different thing.Â I think friendship is about constancy, to a certain extent. And perhaps, the slow evolution of character. Friendship is an undervalued thing in this day and age, but I think it’s probably more essential than ever.
So I lift my glass now, to my slightly out of sync husband.Â And to my friends, those who “get” me, and those who are their own kind of mystery and experience in navigating a foreign personality without hurting yourself or them.