The other day, I talked about the importance of "writing what you know..."
Well, I've found it goes both ways...I also like watching what I know.
I have two all-time favorite "dorky girls movie" that I could watch over and over and still laugh and cry and feel as dorkily inspired as I did the first time I watched them.
1995's Circle of Friends and 1999's Never Been Kissed.
The reason my love for these movies and the heroines in them is simple...I AM those girls.
Both of these movies center around a girl who is a complete spaz...a sweet, well-meaning, cute, lovable spaz...but a spaz nontheless...and both of these movies end with said spaz triumphing.
It is films like these that give me...and multitudes of OTHER sweet, well-meaning, cute lovable spazzes, but spazzes nonetheless...hope.
Never Been Kissed is the story of Josie Geller. Josie Geller is 25 and has a great job with a major newspaper...but she can't forget about the traumas of her adolescence. She was called "Josie Grossie" in high school, and she thought everything was about to change when the cutest boy in school asked HER to the senior prom. It was all a joke...he drove by her house in a limosine with his real date and threw eggs at her, calling her a freak.
There's a flashback scene in the movie when Josie reads a poem she wrote about her crush, Billy Prince, out loud in class...right in front of the boy. ("Does he notice me? Does he hear my heartbeat, calling out his name? Sometimes it seems so loud I think the gods can hear my pain. His voice is so mellifluous. Oh, if I could just get one kiss...")
When I watched that movie with my sister, she said, "That's something you would do." I was quiet. "That IS something you have done, isn't it?"
Well, not quiet...but I always wore my heart on my sleeve...and on my pen...in high school.In fact, when I was (much much younger), I wrote a letter to a classmate/friend pouring out my heart.
He laughed at me and told all his friends, who also laughed at me.
Like Josie, I never fully recovered.
The movie ends with Josie getting her first "real kiss" from the very cute English teacher and the crowd chanting her name and "Don't Worry Baby" playing in the background.
The heroine in Circle of Friends isn't quite as spazzy as Josie (or myself), but she is still quite insecure.
I love this movie! Minnie Driver plays Benny Hogan...shy...awkward...gawky...and she has long, curly brown hair! Just like I do! It is set in Ireland! I love Ireland! And Chris O'Donnell is in it! He was my first crush!
Benny thinks that a boy like the handsome rugby player slash med student Jack would NEVER like a girl like her...
(Am I giving away too much of the movie here?)
Not only that, but when he falls drunk and cheats on her with his best friend, Benny doesn't take him back right away!
By the end of the movie, Jack redeems himself...Benny falls in love with him all over again...and we learn in Minnie Driver's voiceover that Benny becomes a WRITER.
I laugh...I cry...my heart SOARS for Benny and Josie!
But then I start to wonder...DOES the spaz ever really triumph in real life, or does she just do so in the movies, to keep us real-life spazzes going with some kind of hope?
I mean, where IS that dashing English teacher or the Irish rugby player slash med student?
Where is the stadium full of fans chanting MY name?
Maybe they really ARE just movies after all...