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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dreamkilling

I read of review or a talk piece triggered by the latest news broadcast movie *Morning Glory*.  It starts: "Morning Glory is no Broadcast News, but . . ."  The first part is correct.  The rest, you can fill in your own "but."  Morning Glory *is* no Broadcast News.

But . . .
It's a story about an underdog fighting for a pursuit she believes in when few do.
But it's a story about a man caught between his sense of principle and legacy and the fluff of modern "news."
But it's about compromise.  Making choices.
But but but . . .

Within the first 10 minutes, the writer plants this seed, from mother to daughter:

"You had a dream.  Great.  When you were 8, it was adorable.  When you were 18, it was inspiring.  At 28, it's officially embarrassing.  And I just want you to stop before we get to heartbreaking."


This is the hook.

Within a few scenes of this, you'll know everything that's going to come in the movie. Actually, you'll know from the trailer alone.  But these lines were so simply poignant that I couldn't help but want to go where the story wanted to take me.

Morning Glory

Sure, the movie is formulaic; there's nothing truly revelatory in it.  The story's thin.  The treatment, thin.  So, the film trades heavily on the charm of Rachel McAdams (which I say was a good bet).  The 2 anchor leads as well as much of the dialogue and plot points could have been more biting and received more follow through.  But as to formula, the movie's formulaic because the formula undoubtedly works at being feel good. What separates Morning Glory from Broadcast News is not that it's formula but the finer (and broader) points.

"Let's stop before we get to heartbreaking" is not something anyone has ever said to me in words.  Only with silence.  And I'm sure most people have faced similar.

In this world and this life, is there someone who couldn't use a little hope?  I could use any bit there is to be had.  Even if it's in the form of an underdog who's not really an "underdog."  Of an up-and-comer not in dire straits with no other recourse, just battling life disillusionment.  Of someone just . . . following a dream.


What About Joy?


A friend of mine might diminish this as "privileged people's problems."   It is.  Worrying about joy.  Regardless, I don't think anyone of any station or walk of life should have to choose to give up on the (innocuous) thing he/she feels gives him purpose.  Or fulfillment.
I've said before that from the bottom there's nowhere to go but up.  I don't really believe that's true. Lateral is still the bottom.  But the fact is:  I, like many, have done the other stuff.  The stuff outside of dreams.  The practical stuff.  The "responsible" stuff.  And what I know is that life is more miserable doing things you dislike than doing something you love even if people will spit in your face for it at every pass.

I'd forever take the latter over chosen misery.  And I will root for almost anyone who pursues his or her dreams in a world so apt and deft at killing them.


I find these stories inspiring.  Even when superficial.  That's the formula's design.  These things do happen in real life sometimes.


I give up writing every time I finish writing something.   Watching this movie made me want to write this.

Give up and rebuild everyday.
If you must.  Just do.

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