I watched a movie this morning called, “Young Adult” starring Charlize Theron. It’s been billed as a comedy.
The front of the cover of the DVD I took out of the library has a couple quotes on it. One says, “Ferociously Refreshing!” Which I would change to “Ferociously Depressing.”
And the other says, “Charlize Theron is a Comic Force of Nature.” Which I would replace with Charlize Theron is quite talented at playing a married-man chaser.”
No judgment though because I’ve done that myself.
I’m not sure, maybe I’m missing something here but this movie was sad.
The saddest thing about the character and the movie is that I relate in many ways.
Charlize plays a 37 year old ghost-writer of a young adult fiction series. She decides to go back to her small home town to chase down her high school sweetheart after receiving an email announcement of the birth of his new baby.
They meet up for a drink and talk. Mavis convinces herself he’s not happy and further deludes herself that she can win him back despite his marriage.
Mavis has a little dog that she neglects for the most part and I found myself wondering when the last time was she’d fed the poor little thing.
There wasn’t a lot of time spent in character building and there was a lot left to assume although the writer and director tried to fill in the blanks with dialogue, which worked pretty well. But if I hadn’t known a lot of what could be behind the obvious dysfunction and toxicity, I may very well have been lost.
What I relate to:
-It’s painfully obvious that Mavis is not fulfilled, despite the success she has had in moving away from her small town.
I don’t consider myself a success at all but I am more than familiar with the lack of fulfillment, aka: emotional emptiness and the feeling of not being loved or even liked sometimes.
-She is self absorbed, determined to get what she wants (her married ex) despite who it hurts.
I chased a married guy 8 years ago. (I can’t believe it’s been that long.) The difference between Mavis and I though, is that the married guy and I hooked up. I was told he was planning a divorce, but getting into all that right now would require too much detail and besides, it just sounds like excuses. I went after him because I was lonely, bored and needed some excitement. It’s that fucking simple.
-At a couple points in the movie, we see that Mavis has trichotillomania. She picks at her hair one evening while eating dinner with her parents. In that same scene, she lets them know that she thinks herself to be an alcoholic. Both of these issues are minimized and denied by her parents.
Despite not having trich, I have experienced tons of minimization in other behaviors of mine that indicate/d being in need of help. And being a binge drinker, I’d say I have a problem with alcohol. I just prefer to alter my consciousness because life is painful with very little satisfaction. Alcohol is not the only way I’ve done that.
This gets tricky. I relate to her being a writer because I do it here, would like to do it for a living and I do actually think I’m pretty good at it. But I feel stuck. Stuck in needing to purge all the anger and sadness, the wasted time, but also the good times and the insights.
However, I feel lazy about it. It’s so much work to include all the detail. It gets difficult to organize my thoughts, to make sense to an outsider. The perfectionism gets in the way and much of the time I just want to run away from the feeling. So I distract myself with something else.
Then there’s the overwhelm that comes over me. Because when I find the urge to write, I also find that there is so much to say. So much back story. So much detail. Too much to make sense of in words and I think, “Maybe I should just sit here and feel what’s coming up.”
It can be good at times, but in my case, there’s much avoidance involved. It’s just easier not to write about it.
My writing is a bit rough around the edges and I’m actually intimidated (I guess you could say) as well as just down on myself, feeling like I’m not as good as others. This despite feeling like I’m a pretty decent writer.
I’m tired of writing about my feelings about writing. But it did come up in this movie, billed as a comedy that I did not find funny at all. The character portrayed was a sad, unfulfilled woman whose parents reminded me a bit of my own. Neglectful of the needs of their daughter.
Towards the end of the movie, Mavis has an outburst at the baby-naming ceremony for the baby of her ex and his wife. Mavis’ parents show up at the point just in time to intervene.
It reminded me of my parents in a way…too little to late. Coming in for the rescue they have no idea of how to follow through on.
One morning while I still lived at home, the last house we all lived together in, I was ready to leave for work. I had been thinking about wearing my long black leather coat that day, but when I went to get it from the closet it wasn’t there.
The only explanation for it was that my sister had taken and worn it herself…without asking me.
So much had already built up. Shit I don’t feel I can get across well enough to give it the justice it deserves. My little sister had become an entitled little bitch who seemed to think she was the only one who mattered. Anything that was mine, she was apparently felt justified to take it if she was so inclined.
I had a huge melt down that morning. So intense my parents stood on either side of me as I wept and screamed at the door of my closet. Screaming how sick of my sister I was and how it was always all about her with no thought to anyone else.
At that point in time though, I should’ve been out of the house. I should have been living on my own where my sister couldn’t get at my leather coat or anything else that belonged to me.
But you know what, I was old enough in age but emotionally I was still 12. I had no idea what to do to get out on my own. I had no idea what it took. I worked but I threw my money away on escapes.
Drinking, cigarettes, pot and travel to see my long distance boyfriend. I lived in the present and had no clue how to plan or prepare for the future.
My parents never jumped in to teach me either. I was completely on my own to figure it out.
I never did. This is Mavis too, despite the differences, she and I have a lot in common. There was nothing funny about this movie.