Friday, July 12, 2013

What's Next On My List? Liberal Arts

I seem to be growing up. As the time passes I appreciate independent movies far more then the ones made for the masses. Josh Radnor has starred in two that are now really close to my heart. One is HappyThankYouMorePlease, the other:

"- I'm actually trying to read less.
- Why?
- I felt like I wasn't watching enough television. No, I just-I started to feel like reading about life was taking time away from actually living life, so I'm trying to, like, accept invitations to things, say 'hi' to the world a little more.
- That sounds scary. It's going well?
- It's... okay. Most of the time when I'm out, I keep thinking I'd be so much happier in bed with a book, and that makes me feel not super cool."

Jesse is a thirty-some year old guy, but he is not happy. He is invited to the retirement party of one of his dearest professors, Peter Hoberg, and he happily jumps into a car to get back to his beloved college. He was happy there and after meeting a young student by the name of Zibby, he starts to exchange letters with her, talking about books and poems and classes they have already shared. The two fall in love, but Jesse feels he is too old for her and backs away. It is this that makes him realize he needs to grow up - getting back to a safe place isn't always the answer - one needs to move on and find comfort in their new life.

The reason why I liked this movie so much is that I find it spoke to me. I am now studying at college and I can see where Jesse comes from because I am the same way with my high school now. I had trouble finding my place in the world - I felt lost over the past two years. It is only now that I feel I can move on. I am finally becoming more secure in the choices I make. Not to mention that Jesse's life is defined by books - I am now reading those books that define me. The one that made me write my own book, and the ones that teach me about the harshness of men. And I also study liberal arts, I am an English major. All the poems they reference in the movie I have already studied.
I felt the same way when I started watching the series Felicity, which is the tale of a young girl who moves to New York for college. I always liked the actors in it, but I didn't particularly care for it. Now that I am in college, I share her same problems, thoughts, I truly see that some shows are directed to a specific audience. In this case I had to grow up a little bit or change my surroundings if you will, to appreciate them. Not only Jesse's story, but that of Zibby felt close to my heart as well. She falls in love with someone who might be older, but at the time she feels that he is her soul mate. And based on their tastes in music, books, poems, you can see that they are indeed a perfect match - and it isn't all fun and games. When they do disagree, they debate it like adults and it never becomes unpleasant.
It seems that age doesn't matter, but Jesse realizes that although he could love Zibby, he shouldn't. Not because he doesn't want to but because it is clear that he is in a place in his life where he needs to find himself before he can take on another companion. There was only one thing that I have found completely unnecessary story-wise. Jesse, after leaving Zibby and not being able to bring himself to sleep with her, encounters another professor of his, Judith Fairfield, and they get drunk together and sleep together. After seeing how noble he is and how he cares for Zibby, it was just a selfish dick move. The conversation he has with the professor serves as a wake up call for him - but there was no need for sleeping with her.
So Jesse goes back home and starts to talk to a librarian, Ana, who he noticed checking him out. She is of his age and they share even more in common than he and Zibby did. They are both confined to the world of books and don't even notice how life is passing them by. Both decide to put away books for a while so they can actually start living. It is her I quoted in the beginning. You see, I refuse to read too much because I have found myself completely excluded from the world when I get lost in a book. And although all of my friends think that I am incapable of reading, I simply keep it to myself.
Zibby will be OK - she is young and her years at college have only began. Her heart might have been broken now, but this love was never meant to be and that will help her to learn and grow from it without scaring her. Professor Hoberg too seems to be at unease to let go of his life as a teacher, but while trying to set a good example to Jesse, he too finds comfort in his heart. While Jesse finally sees something other than a book - a chance to have his own adventure.
There is one last thing I didn't mention. There was one more character in the movie who greatly influenced Jesse's journey. There was a student by the name of Dean, who didn't really find his place in the world, let alone college! He reads books that make him think too much and he really sees what is wrong in the world. He sees such darkness that he takes a bunch of pills. Jesse (although hates flying) jumps on a plane and hurries to him. He gives him a bad vampire book, saying that he should read something less serious from now on.
For Jesse, not seeing how one could not love college, he feels discomfort when talking to Dean, and he makes it his mission to lighten the load on his shoulders. It is only when he tells Dean, hey, there is more to life than books, is when he starts taking his own advice. Overall each character contributed to the others capability of seeing the bright in what is seemingly dark. Oh, and awesome Zac Efron is in it! So if you are a fan of his, check it out :D He has the cutest hat ever! And some of the best lines ever written on paper.

So, here you go. Independent movies should rule the screens as they have shown originality. In the end, all of them is about either suffering or learning to becoming grown ups - but I believe that these movies help others as well, so don't stop! There is a lot more to Josh Radnor then just Ted Mosby - he not only directed but wrote this movie! :)
Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ _

Jesse - Josh Radnor
Prof. Peter Hoberg - Richard Jenkins
Prof. Judith Fairfield - Allison Janney
Dean - John Magaro

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