01 December 2009

Half your age plus seven

One of the more endearing features (she would say 'infuriating') of the relationship between The Very Understanding Girlfriend and my good self is our approach to cinema. We both like films, and our cinematic tastes overlap considerably. However I view the actual cinema experience as being best suited to films that would loose some of their impact on the small screen, and thus on those rare occasions that I motivate myself to join with my fellow humanity in such a shared cultural experience it tends to be for big, flashy visual popcorn devoid of all meaning and substance.

I figure that your viewing experience is going to be ruined anyway by the munching, talking, mobile-phone-answering, drink-slurping masses, so why waste your €10 on something where the ambiance of the film is actually important? Thus I have been responsible for dragging The Very Understanding Girlfriend along to a simply horrendous litany of abominations, including 'Transformers', 'Terminator: Salvation', 'The Day After Tomorrow' and, most unforgivably, 'I am Legend', the scars of which are with her to this day.

Thus somewhat understandably she has come to view my movie suggestions with some healthy degree of skepticism, and I was therefore more than a little surprised when she agreed to stop into the video shop on her way home last night and rent 'Twilight' for me.

See, I thought that in my feverish, flu addled state I wouldn't be able to follow anything more complex than a Garfield strip, and given that even Bill Murray is shamed by 'Garfield: the Movie' I settled on something of equal depth but less embarrassing for The Very Understanding Girlfriend to ask for in the video shop.

While not as bad as I was expecting (and yes, I have been known to watch films just so I can give out about them afterwards), there was one major fundamental flaw that made the entire premise nonsensical and completely unbelievable, and the more I thought about it the more I realised that it is a flaw common to most portrayals of vampires in recent years. In Twilight, a broody 100+ year old vampire falls in love with a quirky outsider seventeen year-old girl. In Buffy, a broody 100+ year old vampire falls in love with a quirky outsider seventeen year-old girl. In True Blood, a broody 100+ year old vampire falls in love with a quirky outsider twenty-two year old girl. Notice a pattern?

Herein lies the problem. I am 36, and could no more stand the company of a seventeen-year old for the length of a single conversation than I could watch a full episode of Hollyoaks. When, on public transportation, I am forced to sit in earshot of a herd of youths I wonder how they could use so many words in such a short period of time without saying anything of any substance or meaning. The life of any teenager, male or female, is small, their experiences few and their conversations by necessity revolve around trivialities, though at the time they seem like the heaviest burdens in the world. In know this to be true, for once I too was teenager.

And if I, at only twice their age, would rather gouge out my eyes with a breadstick then endure their unending prattle, what must the torment be like if the age difference was six times or more? Consider the following, slightly more realistic, exchange between our two protagonists:
Him, a broody 100+ year old vampire: "I stuck around St. Petersburg, when I saw it was a time for a change. Killed the Czar and his ministers, Anastasia screamed in vain. I rode a tank, in the general's rank, when the Blitzkrieg raged, and the bodies stank. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name. What's puzzling you is the nature of my game."

Her, a quirky outsider seventeen year-old girl:
"Yeah but no but yeah but no but, oh my god, I soooo can't believe you just said that, that Becky Morgan in 2C is such a slag, what-eva!"

Him: "On second thoughts, time for dinner"
See, its just not that plausible a relationship, there is simply no common ground on which it could be based.

This is the sociological and philosophical angle I will attempt to pursue with the guy in the video shop as he casts silent scorn on me when I return the dvd this afternoon, my punishment from The Very Understanding Girlfriend for making her rent it in the first place.

I'm not sure he's going to buy it.



At 9:56 pm, Anonymous tpy said...

There's nothing worse than an older gentleman hanging around high schools and/or colleges, trolling for younger women.

Also, 757 words to defend the indefensible. All you need is 6: "I watched Twilight. Deal with it."

At 11:07 pm, Blogger Unkie Dave said...

I really could have done with your help when returning the dvd, you're way better at this sort of stuff than I am. Must come from being a Gilmore Girls fan...

and for your information I was not 'hanging around', I was finishing my Masters.


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