Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Adolescent angst, both imaginary and real
So I rented Twilight, just to see what's popular with the young people nowadays. I've seen a lot of people ragging on it, and of course others love it, so I watched it myself and ...
I didn't hate it.
Okay, the "being a young girl in love is like being with a vampire" metaphor isn't exactly new, but Edward and Bella aren't Angel and Buffy. Bella has absolutely zero chance of kicking Edward's ass. She is completely dependent on him staying hopelessly and ridiculously in love with her.
What I liked about the movie is the presentation of the painful shyness of sensitive adolescents, most especially Bella, but also several of her friends. I don't see that much of that in my community college students, but I have tutored high school kids, and sometimes I see a little of that with them.
Switching over to real life angst of the young, Keisha Castle-Hughes was the star of the 2002 movie Whale Rider, and she was nominated for the Acamedy Award for Best Actress, so she took the trip from New Zealand to Hollywood to attend the ceremony.
Doesn't she look nice in that dress? Aren't there about a half a hundred actresses who could learn a thing or two about dressing attractively at an award show from this young lady?
Yes and yes, hypothetical question asker. Now let me get on with the story.
So Keisha is on the red carpet, and a pair of the roving red carpet vultures are asking her the questions reserved for the "fish out of water" nominees. How is she enjoying Hollywood? Is she excited? Is there anyone special she would like to meet?
Of course, she's having fun. Yes, she's excited. And as for who she would like to meet, she gives the answer most preferred by 12 year old girls for about the past twenty years.
So the red carpet is over and the show will start in just a few minutes, and the red carpet host turns it over to one of the roving vultures who is in the auditorium. He finds Keisha, gets her out of her seat, takes her over a few aisles and introduces her to...
And let me give mad props to Johnny Depp. If you ever get a chance to meet your hero and that person is as gracious to you as Johnny Depp was to Keisha Castle-Hughes, you, my friend, are way ahead of the game. He shook her hand and gave her a little Hollywood hug, and he was just the perfect amount of complimentary to her as a colleague. He had seen the movie, she was wonderful, he was a big fan, he wished her the best of luck.
She smiled and she giggled a little. She said "Pleased to meet you" and "Thank you very much" and "Goodbye" as she went back to her seat. The red carpet vulture walked her back, and said "A young star has her dream come true. How do you feel, Keisha?"
And in perfect honesty, she said to the vulture, "Oh, you're a dead man."
And nothing else.
This was not a dream come true. This was so much emotion that she was close to physically ill. Those of us who are old enough to have experienced most emotions multiple times have a hard time remembering what it was like to be that excited for the first time. If it was even a little bit fun, it's a very sickening kind of fun.
If you have a good enough memory, you can really appreciate not being an adolescent anymore.