Shifting perspective

The difficulty of appreciating a bit of eye candy like Charlie's Angels can be understood a bit better when you find out that I've been considering renting a VHS copy of sex, lies, & videotape so that Jeff can see it.

My watching Notting Hill a few days ago led me to play the "which actors have performed with these guys?" game in my head. Pondering Hugh Grant led me to Andie McDowell, who starred with him in Four Weddings and a Funeral—but this—sex, lies & videotape—was the first movie I ever saw her in.It was quite a few years ago when I saw sex, lies, & videotape; I distinctly remember renting it and watching it alone, but I don't remember where I was. I get the sense that I might have been a freshman in college at the time; from the name alone it would have been a movie that I wouldn't have felt comfortable renting and bringing to my mother's house and watching it there, with them in the house.

Though I don't remember many specifics of the movie, I remember being somewhat confused and greatly intrigued by the premise of the plot. Since then, I've gotten a little more realistic and a lot more blasé about the whole thing—how in the world was I supposed to understand a movie about the intricacies and the strangeness of human sexuality when—at the time of my watching the movie—I was still pretty oblivious to the opposite sex?

That theory can be taken to a very illogical conclusion—how would I understand a murderer without having murdered, or being a mother without birthing children, etc. Like most statements, there is both falsehood and truth to be found in it. My changed—and, admittedly, more adult—perspective on life does not guarantee that I will achieve a greater understanding of the movie or its premise.

However, it certainly does indicate that I will have a greater familiarity and a greater understanding of the depth of emotion behind the characters' words and actions. At some point soon, I'll rent the movie again, and see it from a totally different perspective.

That's what I love about truly good art—your appreciation of it grows as you grow. The good stuff has depth and complexity of meaning that reward further visitation. Your shifting perspective allows you to see its essence, instead of its surface.

Side note: I had great fun watching Notting Hill this past week, if nothing else but for the ending. I've loved Roman Holiday ever since I first saw it, but after watching RH for the first time, I always found myself wondering: "What if she broke her composure, got down off the dais, and tried to walk away as a normal citizen and live happily ever after?"

When watching Notting Hill, I giggled and replayed the scene when I realized that no, I wasn't the only one who watched Roman Holiday and wanted to see Audrey Hepburn's character throw caution to the wind. A guilty pleasure, that, seeing someone else take that private little wish of mine and making it happen on-screen.

Soon: Requiem For A Dream. That's going to be a tough one.

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