Friday, March 25, 2011

Life is Art

Miss Congeniality, She's All That, The Devil Wears Prada, My Fair Lady, The Princess Diaries, Sixteen Candles...average, undesirable girl gets a makeover, snags the cutest guy in the movie, and lives happily ever after. I have a drawer of DVDs that could provide a list of examples. Add pajamas and a package of Oreos and you have what an average, undesirable girl like me calls a Friday night.

Average girls like to watch movies about average girls because they can relate, but those of us who really are average can't relate to perfectly crafted characters who trip and fall into fabulous lives. What about those of us who don't have a happy ending? For every one Rachel Leigh Cook in She's All That, there are 99 girls who did not dance with their Freddie Prinze Jr. on prom night. For every Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club, there's a weird girl who does not kiss the school wrestling star at the end of a life-changing Saturday detention. I'm not the awkward girl who stumbles blindly into the arms of a hot football player. I'm just the awkward girl.

It's hard to remember that movies aren't real. Beautiful actors are sculpted into these deliberately designed characters. Their lines are dictated to them, the poetic words carefully chosen by skilled writers and perfected over multiple drafts. It's beautiful, but it isn't real. Reality is improvised. It isn't perfect, glamorous, scripted, or planned. Real life is about as prosaic as a grocery list, but I think that's what makes life art in itself. One thing reality has that movies don't is raw emotion. Real life is real, uncensored, unscripted. The beauty of human emotion, our failures as well as our successes, and unhappy endings as well as the happy ones are what make life art. Life is art because it's real.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Lizzie McGuire Movie

This movie came out in theaters in 2003 marking the end to the Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire. It's not a great movie and like anything Disney Channel produces, a mix of movie cliches with a sappy theme and a happy ending. However, for me, this movie is warm fuzzy childhood memories. I was a huge Lizzie fan in elementary school and 10 when this movie came out. I owned the soundtrack and played it until it broke. It's probably just the nostalgia talking, but I still think this movie is cute.

As a conclusion to Lizzie's middle school adventures, she and her best friend Gordo graduate from junior high and go on a school trip to Rome. Lizzie meets a cute Italian pop singer named Paolo who mistakes her for his singing partner Isabella, who, aside from a difference in hair color and accent, looks identical to Lizzie. She spends her time in Rome sneaking away from her abrasive chaperone and posing as Isabella to sing at an award show.

For anyone who knows Pretty in Pink, there's a Andie-Ducky-Blane situation between Lizzie, Gordo, and Paolo, but unlike Pretty in Pink, there's a happy ending for the loyal best friend. Gordo encourages Lizzie to spend time with Paolo, and he covers for her to the point of getting himself sent home. As the series progressed, Gordo's crush on Lizzie went from slightly implied to extremely obvious to everyone except Lizzie.

The movie brought this to culmination, and Lizzie and Gordo kissed in the last scene of the movie. She kisses him, he says "Uh...thanks" and she responds nervously with "You're welcome." It's cute and not so in-your-face, so I think it works for the end of this movie and the series as a whole.

Here's the scene in the movie where Lizzie sings on stage. I'm ruining the ending, but I doubt anyone cares: Paolo's plan was to use Lizzie to make Isabella look like a bad singer, embarrassing both of them in the process. In reality, Paolo can't sing, so Isabella exposes Paolo and makes Lizzie a superstar.

I would like to know why they're Italian but their songs are in English, and I need a better reason than because it's an English movie.

♥ ♪Hey now, hey now, this is what dreams are made of ♪ ♥