the coming of age stories of American teenagers never fail to have me contemplating my own existence. I've a weakness for it unlike anything else ever: I have this craving for the small towns in the middle of nowhere, full of the misfits and punks that are alienated by everyone and everything for having different ideas from the rest of society. movies have taught me that the everyday glamour of weirdos that have a point to prove is powerful beyond measure. every fucking time.
how am I nostalgic for something I've actually never known, and won't ever know? I'm not American. I'm 29 years old. I'm not misunderstood anymore - I might be confusing to people now and then, but I'm hardly on the outskirts of respectability and society. plus all I need to do is write about it and put it on the internet and then everyone gets their chance to know what I mean, properly.
tonight I ate an amazing vegan massaman curry that I'm particularly proud of, drank a glass of wine and sat up to watch roller derby-based coming of age Fox Searchlight production 'Whip It'. for those of you who haven't caught it, it features the star-studded likes of Drew Barrymore, Kristen Wiig, Juliette Lewis, Jimmy Fallon and of course, the charming Ellen Page, who is yet to disappoint me in anything she does.
Page is Bliss Cavendar/Babe Ruthless, a 17 year old who appears to have been plodding along through life as an unwilling beauty pagent entrant at the whim of her mother. Bliss discovers rollerderby on a shopping trip to Austin, TX. rest is history - all it takes is a rollerskating training montage and a mouthguard and she's the arse-kickenest derby kid in town. hip checks for days.
every time I watch this movie I desperately want to move to Texas, although I suspect it's way too hot for me there. what makes me want to move there? the notion of kids working shitty fast-food jobs, hanging out in attics full of records, breaking into swimming pools at night time and taking off all their clothes to leave them floating in the pool. seems careless, but that's part of its charm. the day-long date spent in arcades, laying on the bonnet of a car, losing your keys in a field of hay. fuck yeah, break me off a piece of that.
it seems that I am actually capable of envying the kind of small-existence-with-a-dream life that I already have. I think I'd even manage to please 17 year old Helen with how things have turned out. it's just the damned nostalgia for my inner American teenager that gets me.
I love the way this movie is really just about someone stubbornly loving a thing her mum hates but eventually comes around to. I love the way it's not about the boy in the band, who's enough of a dick that I only want to date him long enough to kiss him underwater and then slap him in the face when we break up. I love that they end it with the tiniest but hugest of victories: Bliss sitting on the roof of her place of work, planning to move to a bigger city. I want that outcome for myself: the most insignificant of things that means the whole world.
I think the theme of the posts this week is showing itself to be 'reasonably awesome women in movies I have recently watched'. stay tuned.