My friend took me out today for my birthday. We went to the mall, where I watched her drop an obscene amount of cash on clothing (seriously, I nearly had a coronary, and I used to spend nearly as much on books. Over the course of two months, of course. Even I'm not that spendy!) Then we went to the bookstore where she bought me my gift, a book, and I gang-pressed her into donating a book to the local children's hospital. Then we went to the movies.
I should point out, I attend movies regularly--I enjoy them far more than television. Why, just last night, I went to the movies in celebration of another friend's birthday. That film was...less than satisfactory. I like to find meaning in my films, messages, little love notes of wisdom from the film's writers to me. Granted, this wisdom is typically watered down with all the Hollywood bollywoggle that has to be added to make the film marketable, but to the discerning eye, it is there. Last night, I went to see a film whose only possible meaning is "be glad for death; at least you won't end up living a half-life like this nitwit." Not exactly life-affirming, if you know what I'm saying. Then again, it is High Victorian Melodrama of the lowest order, so you know a) Hero and Heroine would fall deeply, madly, truly in love, b) someone's going to die a painful, senseless death, and c) the other party will suffer in the tradition of Good Queen Vic for her Albert for all the rest of their days. Tripe. Bah.
Not to insult cow stomachs everywhere, but today I decided to go a little more cheery with Julie & Julia. Little did I realize that the movie is a love note to bloggers--well, and Julia Child. And butter. And yes, they did make Julie look a little more than very self important, and treat her blogging (at one point) as little more than the butt of a very extended joke about how her readers would be traumatized (traumatized, we tell you!) if she were to stop writing. But in the end, the movie was about making promises to yourself and the importance of keeping them, and Julie isn't the only blogger to use her blog to do this. There is an accountability in blogging, even if no one else is reading, even if no one else ever does. It's like...weighing yourself at a certain very popular weight loss group's centers--no one ever knows the numbers but you and the lady behind the desk, but you know you're going to be there. An obligation to yourself.
And, frankly, the marriage of Julia and Paul Child was the sweetest thing I've ever seen on film in my life. If only the writer of Tripe Central would have used this as the basis of a romance, I would have enjoyed it more. Love, true love, means something more than dying a beautiful death and then self-involved wallowing in pain and misery. It means...helping your beloved to be the best them they can be, supporting them through the bad stretches, and then letting them take all the credit for their success because, well, they did the work. That's love. And it's beautiful!