3:30 Thursday, Projects

Dear Hollywood…

The 3:30 Project is a collaborative blog by life long friends: Maggie, Mary Margaret, and Jillian. Several months ago, we wrote about our favorite movies—the ones we return to again and again. This month we flip that around and explore movies that we never need to see again. Today Maggie shares her thoughts on her least favorite story line.

Dear Hollywood,

We’ve seen this movie before. And frankly, I think we need a better story.

Boy and girl are in relationship. It’s not perfect, but they’re making it work.

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Boy and girl think they are happy. They’re going to get married. Everything is great.

But then, a new girl comes into the picture. She’s more fun, prettier, smarter, and in all the other important ways better than the first girl.

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Try as he might, boy just can’t stop thinking about new girl. They have chemistry. Excitement. Romance.

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He hasn’t felt this alive in years.

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Finally, boy must face the truth. He wants to be with new girl.

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So old girl must let boy go. But, old girl gets together with new boy, so it’s all good.

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You know. A modern fairy tale.

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With all due respect, Hollywood, I think we can do better.

We’ve all heard the phrase: “Art imitates life.”

Maybe, this trope of a man being trapped in the wrong relationship and he doesn’t have the courage to leave until the right girl (or as Meg Ryan shows us in Sleepless in Seattle, the right guy) comes along is so familiar because it’s so common.

But…life also imitates art, and I know this because my daughter was singing a Sesame Street song about morning routines while we got ready for pre-school this morning.

So, why can’t we have a movie where boy is unhappy in his romantic relationship, and he honestly tells girl 1. Then boy and girl decide (without some other person being involved) whether or not they want to be together. Maybe they go to counseling, maybe they rebuild their relationship, maybe they ultimately part ways – but they’re doing that because that’s what needed to happen in their relationship, not because boy had the next relationship ready to go, and the first girl has to move aside so he can move on.

Give the jilted girl a chance! Maybe if he told her how he really felt, she could change. Maybe she’s not happy either. Maybe he’s the problem, and if he doesn’t face the problem it doesn’t matter how many new girls come into his life, he’s never going to be happy because the person her really needs to change is himself.

And if this sounds like I’m taking this a little personally…I am. I definitely identify with girl 1 in this story line, and it feels a little unfair to me.

I can see how some other girl – one who wasn’t busy getting the kids to school on time, paying bills, grocery shopping and doing laundry – could waltz into my husband’s life and be funnier, more spontaneous, sexier and have better hair than me.

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I’m over here in fairy tale land trying to make sure my children are fed and don’t pull a bookcase down on themselves or jump out a window because they think they can fly like a superhero they saw on television (yes, that’s why I live in a one-story home)…of course someone else could easily be more desirable than me.

Hollywood, I know you want to inspire us, make us laugh, and show us what the world is like. But raising a family, having a job, and growing your romantic relationship is hard work. And, it isn’t helpful to me when you make a movie where the solution to your relationship problems is getting out of the relationship by upgrading to a better model. It’s the opposite of helpful. It’s unhelpful. So, if you could work on that, I’d really appreciate it.

Love and Hugs,

Maggie