Late Night Films and Fairy-Tales

In the age of downloadable movies; sometimes I feel that we are led to be a little too idealistic. Ladies grow up to expect a knight in shining armor on a white horse that is not only feminist, chivalrous, and caring, but also financially stable. And men are fed the idea that they will one day meet a woman who will accept them for who they are despite whatever else may be important to or waiting for them. It’s a modern tragedy that starts out like a love story and has no happy ending. We are fed, through the media, the idea that the perfect romantic comedy moment will one day befall us and, that if we are wise enough to recognize it, we will be rewarded with a fairy-tale ever after.

As a compulsive aficionado of film, this story is one I’m very familiar with. We see so often the hero or heroine of a seemingly ordinary story stumble upon the love of their life and begin a new, happier tale safe in their company. It’s an image pervaded in front of us from films such as Cinderella, White Christmas, You’ve Got Mail and Notting Hill to such unforeseen examples as Thor, James Bond, The Lord of the Rings, and Robin Hood. We are told that lasting, true love is something we will inevitably find; and that it is what we do aside of that that makes the story. What we do not always realize is how rare true love is to find.

We wonder through our lives mounting up accomplishments and achievements; but always thinking we are missing something because we have not found ‘the one’. What we fail to grasp is what a miracle it really is to find love at all. We are raised being told that love is a given for all of us. That, at one point in time or another, we will find the love of our lives – someone to build a life with and with whom we can share our affections and have them requited. But this isn’t exactly true. We are not guaranteed a love of our lives; in truth I doubt we are even guaranteed a love. What has been paraded about as an ordinary given in films is in fact a potentially impossible probability in real life.

And while it sounds depressing, that is not at all my intention. What I mean to empathize is this: we are fortunate to have the capacity as humans to love as we do; and luckier still if we can find someone to share in that love with us, however temporary it may be. I suppose what I’ve been thinking lately is that perhaps I needn’t be so upset that it doesn’t look like prince charming and I will be getting together. I have loved, and I know those who haven’t. And, while I may not get the fairy-tale I was promised by all those black and white films, I have had the incredible experience to fall in love and be loved in return. It’s an experience that is not guaranteed to everyone; and while it may not be all I dreamed it was, I am certainly grateful for the opportunity.

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