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Lessons and life horrors from Young Adult

Monday, March 26, 2012

I saw Young Adult this weekend.

I actually bought the DVD! I can't remember the last time I bought myself an actual DVD. It's so sad, guys. You should have seen me in Target with my little basket of shaving cream and Lemi-Shine and paper towels, holding the Blu-Ray, thinking, "I don't know... $20 seems steep." You'd think I lived through the Great Depression eating my own shoe leather.

Anyway, about the movie. I love Charlize Theron and Patrick Wilson and Diablo Cody, and it's about a writer, and it's dark, so naturally I wanted to see it the second it came out. But life (writing, video blogging, working, lugging laundry up the stairs of my townhouse, going back down the stairs to get the laundry I dropped, going back up the stairs with the laundry again) got in the way. It took a while, but now that I've done the honors, here are some observations:

God help me, I'm shallow.

For the entire first ten minutes of the movie, my boyfriend just kept pointing at me. Mavis (played by Charlize) wakes up face down on her bed while various Kardashians flit along the TV in the background. She wears enormous Hello Kitty sleep shirts. She chugs Diet Coke straight from the bottle in the morning. She trudges to her computer and stares at a blank screen, then checks her e-mail and online shopping sites, then writes a paragraph, then checks her e-mail again. It was funny, then it was disturbing, because I knew from the reviews that the character is a mentally-unstable alcoholic ex-prom queen, aging and lonely and not self-actualized in the slightest. I hope think we drifted farther apart as the story went on. Please. Please.

Mavis giant Hello Kitty shirt
Giant Hello Kitty shirt, IRLMSML (in real life minus supermodel looks)
Now to redeem shallowness with intellectual analysis.

I loved this movie, but I loved it even more after I thought about it for a while. There were so many little touches that quietly chiseled her character. She had everything a hot, sexy, Parishiltonian (new adjective) person is "supposed" to have. A Pomeranian named Dolce. Victoria's Secret bags. Ugg Boots. Yet she's a miserable mess, because none of that stuff actually means anything when you've got nothing going on inside.

Awkward for president!

Which leads me to the main writing lesson I took from Young Adult. It was really, really uncomfortable to spend two hours with a protagonist who is almost totally unsympathetic. But it worked, and it worked really well. It made me reflect on how much of what we consume is not very grounded in reality. And how maybe we should embrace less perfection in our entertainment. And how maybe people who drink Diet Coke straight from the 2-liter DESERVE LOVE TOO, ALRIGHT?

I like to point at things.

I will never amount to anything.

Diablo Cody is only 33. And Juno came out, like, five years ago. Excuse me while I get back on Wikipedia and have a panic attack about my age-to-achievements ratio. BRB.

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