Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How I Am Love got my panties in a twist

Maybe I am too darn practical for my own good, but whenever I feel that my life is not as dazzling as it might be, I remember some handy phrases:

1. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know.
2. Life is full of peaks and valleys.
3. A person is about as happy as he or she makes up his/her mind to be.

This weekend D and I watched the film I Am Love starring Tilda Swinton, and while I liked it, I couldn't believe what she did at the end.  I was so disappointed in her.  I even watched the interviews to see if I had missed a major theme or something.

But I hadn't.

I got that she was an alien in the Milanese culture.
I got that perhaps her marriage wasn't zesty and lusty and as emotionally satisfying as it could be.
I got that perhaps her grief at the end of the film made her say, "To hell with being not quite as satisfied with my life as I might be."

Still, it really bothered me that her affair with a man is what initially made her recognize her need for something more from her marriage.  Made her realize the culture in which she had been living for 20+ years was not as near and dear to her as she had thought.  It bothers me that it was a man that brought her into the life she realized she didn't want only because another man f*cking her made her realize it.  Is this supposed to be romantic, and I'm just dense?  It seems to fly in the face of her finding her true female power to stand on her own if she doesn't actually stand on her own.

She said she loved Antonio, but how could she?  They had had sex a few times.  She loved what he represented, but not him.

It really bothered me that she was willing to throw away so many years and so many relationships....not just the relationship between herself and her husband.  Because as the ending so clearly showed, there was a new beginning on its way, a new beginning that could include her but that she may or may not ever experience.

As much as I grouse about my kids and the drudgery of being a SAHM and how I'm gonna strangle my husband with all his cords, the truth is that I cannot imagine my life without any one of the dingdongs I share it with on a daily basis.  This is the life I chose and when I sometimes imagine what life might be otherwise, I see it with fear and emptiness.

Is that what it means to be content?
Did Tilda's character see her possible other life as so much better than what she had?
Or could she have had a more free life without sacrificing so much of her previous one?
Was she wrong not to try?
Is there something wrong with me because I can't understand her choice?

1 comment:

Kelsey said...

I haven't seen this movie - so I can't relate from that perspective but your second-last paragraph really resonated with me - so true!