Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Love Happens, apparently.

Yesterday I went for a walk under the autumnal trees of my local park. Us Scot’s are fixated on the weather and surprisingly I am happy to report there was a fine misting of indecisive rain. One of those will it or won’t it rains where the air is more moist than wet. It’s the kind of environment that plays havoc with the hair of even the most dedicated GHD followers. There were chestnuts on the ground freed of their spiky shells and glistening with the deep red of their conker skins. Crunchy dappled leaves lay in wait for the enthusiastic jump and crunch of a foot.

Midway along the path a couple stopped for one of those spontaneous kisses that seemingly occurs mid-sentence. Perhaps one of them had said some adorable platitude, or maybe they were in the first-throws of love when common decency goes out the window in favour of public displays of affection that are oblivious to their fellow human’s stomachs. I dislike my reaction to such occurrences and I wonder what it would be like to be one of those girls who goes ‘awe’ in the face of romance or the chubby rosy cheeks of a baby or the Andrex puppy. But I can’t and this day’s reaction was compounded by a much darker and dangerous image.

The path leading to the exit of the park faces a busy junction where buses, taxis, and irate drivers compete to be released from the main thorough-fare. The lights were red and the cars were still, their low hum palpable ahead of the lights. My eyes were naturally drawn to the red double decker bus resting at the lights. I scanned its sizable bulk and noted it’s unusually clean shine but something distracted me from its simple engineering. There was a poster emblazoned on its side daubed in deceptively comforting hues of green and white. It was advertising a film. The film was called ‘Love Happens.’

Some things stir up irrational reactions no matter how hard you try to remain level headed; people who read the Telegraph, those who speak in clichés, Hollyoaks, but nothing gets my back up more than the latest romantic comedy. I dislike their benign sentiment, implausible plots, the fact that they dine out on the idea that love is possible, just so long as you don’t have split ends and the guy’s face looks like it has been moulded from an impression of a 50’s leading man. I hate that when these insipid, two-dimension characters go out for dinner they incredulously sip water rather than glug wine. The woman inevitably works in floristry or in a book shop or as a waitress, while the man is a high flying corporate monkey or grieving for his dead wife.

Its ruddy make believe that sells to the delusional the false promise of ever-lasting love. And how dare a movie title tell us that ‘love happens’, a statement which quite frankly sits on the same trajectory as ‘shit happens’ – arbitrary, random, when we least expect it. I will not accept this platitude flown directly from Hollywood especially when the love it purports simply ‘happens’ is between Jennifer Aniston and some face-less actor who I’ve never seen before.

But perhaps I am dismissing this film out-of-hand. So I don’t like the title, there’s no need to throw the baby out with the bath water, not when there’s an interactive movie website to explore first. So against my better judgement I visited the ‘Love Happens’ site. I watched the trailer and was impressed with Jennifer Aniston’s hair. Then I played the personality questionnaire based on one’s own perceptions drawn from an array of images. For the layman it determines whether you are deliriously happy (potential film viewer) or a miserable bastard (too clever to see this film). After being asked to identify hair balls as either ‘fluffy fuzzy wuzzies’ or ‘allergy causers’(I think we know how I responded) I was deemed an ‘icarian.’ ‘Icarians’ are according to ‘Love Happens’ in their own ‘myopic world ... see danger around every corner and have built up quite the snarky defences.’ Well as long as all this keeps me as far away from ‘Love Happens’ I’ll take my myopia glasses and wear them with pride.

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