Less Is More

I got a free Redbox coupon this week and I was not about to waste it on another overly sexualized romcom or possessed child horror film. I found Brooklyn amidst the plethora of B movies and I was not disappointed. It was a beautiful film that was refreshingly wholesome and honest. It delved into a plot that covered everything from opportunity, sacrifice, family, homesickness, grief and of course, love. The difference about this love story is that it did not just centralize around a young man (Tony) and a young woman (Eilis). The story went beyond young love and all its enticements. This movie was so refreshing because very rarely nowadays do we get through a movie that involves romance without the couple’s relationship being oversexualized by the first or second date. The setting is in the 1950’s which is why there is actually “courting” going on. Back in the day, people met naturally and got to no one another through actual dates rather than social media stalking and “hanging out” in each other’s dorm rooms. Not to say that everyone was like that in the 1950’s but overall men were expected to take women on dates, meet each other’s families, and actually invest time getting to know each other as a person and not just as the opposite sex. People may say it is old fashioned, naïve, unrealistic, and frankly boring. Now we go to a Seth Rogen or Amy Schumer “romantic” comedy and the opening scene is comparable to porn. How did it flip so far to the other side so quickly? We took control of our identities and sexual freedom, right? Cheating, divorce, and the misconstruing of lust as love is evidently rampant in our society but hey, those are just the side effects of liberation and aren’t necessarily even considered negative anymore. A woman recently told me that if a woman does not have sex with her husband enough, it gives him a free pass to cheat on her. Sounds degrading and antifeminist, right? Wrong. It is the direct result of feminism. We wanted the sexual equality that men have always had and as they say, be careful what you wish for. Now women’s promiscuity is on the rise, we can take health hazardous pills to not conceive, and we glorify it as progression and freedom. Thanks, feminism. Yikes. Back to the movie. This movie was exemplary not just because of the love story but because of what it showed true love to be. It showed the sacrifice, patience, humility, understanding, and selflessness involved. This is something my generation dismisses as weaknesses and being naïve. We focus on the “feeling” we get from “love” which is actually just us using one another for our own selfish reasons. Love is taking the time to see who another person is, what they are passionate about, how they interact with their family, their morals, and their attitudes on life. Yes, attraction and sex are part of love but it is meant to be between two people devoted to one another wholly, for the rest of their lives. It is for people who want to create a family together. My generation is numb to the absolute miracle of life. When abortion is normalized and legal in America, we forget the beauty of bringing a life into the world. So you can say that we have progressed since the 1950’s. In many ways we have. With technology, equal rights for women and minorities, etc. But in many ways we have progressed into something I think is absolutely terrifying. Brooklyn isn’t the first movie that made me yearn for more of that kind of romance in modern times. Roman Holiday taught me that true love can be simplified into a day of doing what you love with another person. Audrey and Gregory showed me that movies being filmed in the 1950’s still had flirting and sexual humor but it was not overdone and central to the plot. Friendship, integrity, and sacrifice were glorified because they are worth more than the physical parts of a relationship. In The Philadelphia Story, Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant show us that real love requires loving yourself, acknowledging your own shortcomings, and being vulnerable to another person without fear they will leave you. This is also the main theme in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I just can’t get enough of old movies, it must be the actual acting and good old storytelling that makes it so unique. It is nice to see such beauty and integrity in this new film Brooklyn, which has had great reviews and is gaining popularity. I feel its success is in part due to our society’s crave for authenticity and examples of how to recognize true love and hold on to it.