“I can see now I never really committed to Laura. I always had one foot out the door, and that prevented me from doing a lot of things, like thinking about my future and… I guess it made more sense to commit to nothing, keep my options open. And that’s suicide. By tiny, tiny increments.” – Rob, High Fidelity
I blame the actor John Cusack for my relationship problems. Okay, maybe that’s a stretch. He’s really not to blame, but he has played a part in it. Okay, maybe that is a stretch too, he hasn’t. But his various movie roles made me fall in love with his characters and feel as if love, no matter how impossible, is attainable. I am a romantic at heart, what can I say? Don’t worry I’m still very much a realist too.
I’ve had a love affair with him for many decades. In his movies, John Cusack always gets the woman he loves, even when it seems impossible. I think I first fell in love with him when I first watched Say Anything. He falls in love, with someone who it seems it out of his league, but in the end he gets the girl and her love, even when it seemed like everything was against them. And who could forget him holding a boom box blasting In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel? (I’m showing my age here, I know).
In the movie Serendipity he chases down a woman he felt a deep connection to using just obscure clues. In the end, he almost marries the wrong woman but as fate will have it, he eventually ended up with the woman he spent one magical night with (one!). Who does that? I know I would just have said fuck it too much work after having to figure out the first clue of who she (or he in my case) is. Unless of course it was John Cusack, then I would have kept trying and trying.
In Must Love Dogs he meets a woman through online dating, and subsequently loses her, then she runs back to him in the end and they fall in love, blissfully, happily in love. Let me tell you if I met John Cusack on any dating sites you can be sure I would not be playing any games that would jeopardize losing him. But I am also very sure John Cusack is not on any dating websites, at least not the ones I have been on.
One of my favorite movies of all time is High Fidelity. It’s also one of my favorite books too. The movie version involves three of my favorite things – relationships, music and of course, John Cusack.
There are so many great moments in this movie regarding relationships. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. (Don’t read further in this paragraph if you wish to not know the ending). John Cusack’s character Rob is experiencing a painful breakup and begins to look back on his previous relationships to find out why they failed. Again, he loses the love of his life, but in the end, after much self-reflection, they get back together, even when it seemed impossible that they would. Overall though it is a great movie about relationships, pretty realistic even for Hollywood. And the soundtrack is fantastic.
Of course one of my other favorite movies (again John Cusack, it’s fate) is Grosse Pointe Blank (great soundtrack too). Once again, he leads a complicated life, reconnects with his high school sweetheart, loses her and then, voila! he gets her again. C’mon John – how is this possible? You are a hired hit man, kill people, left her at the prom and you still get her in the end? If I dated anyone that confessed they were a hit man, even if a past love, I would say sayonara. Unless of course, it was John Cusack, he gets a pass.
Now I know that Hollywood endings are not real life. I am writing all of this in jest. But maybe it is also nice to think that there is that person out there who will fight for you and be with you no matter what obstacles are in your way. I think I relate to the movie High Fidelity most of all. It is pretty realistic in portraying breakups, particularly the whys and the what-ifs? Cusack’s character reflects back throughout the movie about why his relationships ended and what he could have or should have done differently. I guess I’ve been trying to figure that out as well in my life. Self-reflection is a powerful tool isn’t it? Sometimes we just need to look inside ourselves and figure out why certain things keep happening and most times we find the answers we seek, whether we like them or not. I’m not really sure I have the answers as to why I do what I do but I do know that when I am completely honest with myself and when I am just myself I am at my happiest.
Relationships are complicated and we as humans are complicated too. Some of us do have a magical ending to our stories, many of us do not. As for me, I’m just looking for the guy who has my back and loves me flaws and all. He doesn’t have to be perfect or prince charming but he has to be willing to go the distance and put in the work. Because in this age of choices it seems as if work is the last thing anyone wants to do when it comes to relationships, lasting ones at least. And Mr. Cusack if you’re reading this please know I will put in whatever work you want me to and trust me I won’t leave any obscure clues for you to find me either.
I’ll close with the dialogue below from High Fidelity. I love music and this rings true, there is so much sadness and heartbreak in the songs we listen to isn’t there? But yet, we still listen, and cry, and listen some more.
“What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?”