Stories about young love

Not on purpose, but I’ve been thinking a lot about young love. It must be the books and movies I’m watching, or my friends getting married, or Taylor Swift.

Here’s a look at the stories still swirling in my head:

  • “Eleanor & Park,” a book my friend Caro lent me. It’s about two high school kids who see themselves as misfits in very different ways and gradually fall in love. I can’t say I’ve experienced anything similar to what these two interesting characters did, and maybe for that it all read very magically.
  • Taylor Swift’s “Red” album, which was playing pretty much nonstop (when NPR wasn’t) in my car for a while. The above is my favorite song on the album. Kind of angsty? Well, it’s definitely Snow Patrol, for sure. For some reason these weirdly intense songs are usually my favorite. There’s another song on her album called “Stay, Stay, Stay” that sounded like the soundtrack to “Eleanor & Park” while I was reading it.
  • “Jeux d’enfants,” a French film about a game of dares between a young girl and boy that ends up affecting their lives – and love lives – in really shocking ways. Like with most European movies I watch, I try and not bring any expectations, because the colorful covers and English acclaims like, “Wickedly delicious!” are often ridiculously off-target. But “Jeux d’enfants” really surprised me and my housemate Liz as we settled in to watch last Tuesday. Some of it made me giggle; some of it felt disturbing and wrong. But I’ll admit I fell in love with all of the movie’s colors.
  • “The Spectacular Now,” which seemed perfect to watch with my friend Anna, who loves young adult fiction in general. It’s out in theatres now and, like “Jeux d’enfants,” has a misleadingly bubbly trailer that I don’t necessarily recommend watching before the movie itself. The movie is about a high school boy, who disguises many things about himself under his mission to “live for now,” and his experience with a girl whom I thought was quite subtle in character. For me, the movie showed how relationships between two people almost always implicate the social stories hidden behind each individual alone.

I might be in a season of reflecting about the world’s many views of ideal love or marriage, and how my friends and I do or don’t align. Perhaps I’m gravitating toward these kinds of stories because I want to test and choose where I stand against them.

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