sketching with thoughts: Her vs. Garden State vs. me
I saw Her this weekend.
I had been looking forward to the movie for months. I wanted it to be good. And it was— it was a good movie.
Part of me thought Her might be the kind of milestone, time-capsule-of-my-life movie that Garden State was ten years ago. I don’t think those projections are fair to a movie.
In 2004, I was waiting for my own coming-of-age moment(s). I was very receptive to possibilities ahead of time— could this be it? Am I on the verge of a Key Life Stage?— but I was also more passive then. I waited for things to happen to me. In hindsight, how much could I relate to Garden State? Moments here and there, sure, but otherwise, not much. That said, it was a big moment for my peers and me, so it was a shared experience that could, in its own way, be a Key Life Stage. I related to the relating.
I forced my expectations on Garden State. I wanted it to be a milestone movie. Its characters were older than me, so I thought the movie would give me a peek at what it’s like to be older.
Her, meanwhile, doesn’t feel too terribly distant. I know what it’s like to develop, over time with regular communication, strong feelings for someone you have never physically met. Perhaps more importantly, I feel much less beholden to the standardized sequence of life events in 2014 than 2004. When you grow up, people do certain things at certain ages. Over the past ten years, I’ve learned that people do different things at different ages.
I like stories that allow me to explore the depth of characters. I like traveling on the highs and lows and tasting different feelings.
I think the difference between 2014 and 2004 is I am much better suited to explore characters and feelings today than yesterday. I can appreciate Her for what it is instead of forcing it, like Garden State, into what I want it to be.