Today I found myself unexpectedly spending the day alone. A friend of mine recently told me that she went to a movie by herself the other day and it was a very interesting and rewarding experience. I figured today was the day that I try it myself. It being the middle of the day on a Thursday, I had the entire theater to myself, which was pretty cool. Weird, but cool. As you’ve probably gathered from the title of this post, I went to see Silver Linings Playbook. I don’t plan on being spoiler-y, but if you need a warning, this is it.
I usually find myself attracted to stories with characters who are, for lack of a better word, broken. I think it’s because I sometimes feel pretty broken myself. I know that makes me sound like either 1) someone who has endured a significant amount of difficulties in life and/or 2) someone who is very dramatic. Since #1 is not really true, any time I say that I feel broken, I receive backlash because people think I’m just being dramatic. I’m really not trying to be, I’ve just never been able to find a better way to describe it.
As I sat in that theater, I found myself relating to Bradley Cooper’s character (Pat) a little more than I wanted to. I am a very emotional person and when something triggers me, I am very quick to react (often without thinking). It also seemed to me that he forced himself to see the silver lining in situations as a way to fake a positive attitude, which is something that I tend to do too. It usually works pretty well, but obviously if you have to force something it’s not going to work all the time. I hope this doesn’t sound like I go through life feigning happiness because I don’t. Most of the time life is awesome and I don’t have to fake anything. I just really feel inept at dealing with disappointments, setbacks, or anything negative that unexpectedly occurs. Times like those overwhelm me because I have no idea how to handle them. I think I tend to either lash out or retreat. For Pat, a specific song was a trigger. Hearing the song would cause him to act out. If he was getting overwhelmed, he would start to hear the song in his head and that would escalate the situation and eventually cause him to act out.
Anyway, on to the point of this post. There was a part in the movie when Pat starts to get really upset and overwhelmed and he begins to hear the song in his head. Jennifer Lawrence’s character (Tiffany) starts to recognize what’s going on and tries to calm him down. She recognizes that he was probably hearing the song in his head and reassures him that there is no music playing even though she can’t hear it herself. I think that was one of the most meaningful moments in a movie I’ve seen in a while. I guess it was touching to see that for him, there was someone in the world who really understood him and knew exactly what to do to help him.
This made me wonder…is this kind of understanding something we should expect to receive (and give) in our relationships? It’s probably too much to expect from every single one of your friends, but should you expect it from (and for) your partner? And if you don’t have it, is it something that you should strive to achieve? If so, how?? Or can you have a successful, happy relationship without this deep understanding of each other?
Another part in the movie that I loved was when Pat was trying to get some gross guy to leave Tiffany alone and he said something along the lines of, she’s a little broken and you have to give her a chance to heal. I liked that because it suggested that even though she’s broken right now, she won’t be broken forever. Again, it was just another moment that made me feel like the two characters really understood each other in a way that nobody else really did.
I don’t really have a way to close this. Just some stuff I’ve been thinking about. I acknowledge that I have many flaws that I’d like to address and I am always trying to be better. It’s not like I don’t want to be better, but I wonder at what point I can stop trying so hard and just be comfortable with the way I am.
Here’s the trailer if you’re interested