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All That Beauty...Aren't We Lucky?

So I recently re-watched a movie that is very…nostalgic I suppose. I must’ve been twelve or so when I saw “Stealing Beauty” for the first time. I watched it in secret, as there was far too much cursing, pot smoking, sexuality, and nudity and the mother of twelve year old me would not have approved. I did not love this movie. I er… felt it, if that makes sense. When I think of movies I LOVE, I think of “Jurassic Park” or “The King’s Speech.” When I think of movies I “feel” I think of “Crash” or inevitably “Stealing Beauty.” I ain’t sayin’ it’s the best thing since sliced bread. No, no , no. In fact I didn’t enjoy it as much this time as I have in years past, and I wear some awful thick nostalgia goggles let me tell you.

The gist of the movie is that Lucy (Liv Tyler) goes to Tuscany to visit family friends of her deceased mother. While there, she wants to reunite with the boy she fell in love with 4 years earlier and unravel a mystery left to her by her mom. It sounds simple enough, but then things get kind of weird when everyone living on the property learns that Lucy is a nineteen year old virgin (le gasp!). Lucy’s virginity is a major theme of the movie, will she give it away? Won’t she? Whom should she lose it to?

*Anywho, when all is said and done I always felt like it was a story from the perspective of a serious nineteen year old girl concerning the topics of sex, love, family, and how other humans interact with one another.

I discussed this movie with a friend of mine and she immediately recommended a more recent film called “Unrelated.” She gushed and recommended it so passionately that I looked up the trailer. Lo’ she was right, it felt right. Like some strange sequel had been created withought anyone being aware of it (sequel only in a VERY loose sense, mind you). So, I watched it Sunday night. I know now why she was so enthusiastic ha-ha. Yes, there is a decidedly naked, pre-Loki, Tom Hiddleston in this movie. No wonder she was so quick to recommend it.

Ah but what the movie is really about, is a 40-ish year old woman named Anna, who visits her best friend and her friend’s family in wait for it…Tuscany. BUM BUM BUM! She’s having relationship issues and instead of confiding in her friend, she starts to find a strange camaraderie with the teenagers there. Her feelings become a bit more Cougar-ish towards Cousin Oakley (Hiddleston) *wink wink*. The story covers much of the same territory as Lucy’s but instead it’s sex, love, family, and how other humans interact with one another from the perspective of an older woman flinging aside her seriousness and dealing with age and wanting something more in her life.

Having watched the two movies almost back to back, I got to thinking that “Unrelated” is really the superior movie of the two. It depicts people differently, better, in a realistic kind of way. In a way that I think  "Stealing Beauty" tried to do, but got too hung up on virginal young women to really succeed (maybe I'm wrong). WHAT? How could this be? My nostalgia goggles were strapped on so tight, surely “Stealing Beauty” is the film that makes me…feel (I seriously don’t know what else to call it except ‘feel’) more.
It took me until today to realize the horrifying truth. Honestly, I identify with Anna more than I do Lucy. I am not 40-ish, or married, (or lusting after young boys) or any of those things that make Anna the person she is. However, I’m not the wide eyed, determined, poet that Lucy is either. Maybe I was when I was twelve, I don’t know. I gravitate towards Anna. My mother teases me that I was born old. I hope I don’t somehow regress into an Anna like state, find myself in a mid-life crisis behaving like the wild and reckless teenager I never was.



*I now, being older, recognize a lot of rather CREEPY middle aged man perspective as well ugh.

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