Monday, February 15, 2010

Lesson in love from “The Break-Up”

Guest post for the Valentines Day Blog Carnival by the lovely A of The Glamourous Grad Student.

The Break-Up, with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn, was on TV today. It starts out so cute, with the opening-credits montage of "happy times" photos. Then the relationship implodes so catastrophically it's hard to take it seriously. You want to slap these people with a really big fish...

Brooke: What are these? [holds up a bag with 3 lemons]
Gary: You asked for lemons. What my baby wants my baby gets.
Brooke: There are 3 lemons. I asked for 12. Baby wanted 12.

The chip that becomes a crack that becomes a shattered train-wreck of a relationship is Gary bringing Brooke home insufficient lemons for her centerpiece. This snowballs into a list of complaints about Gary not doing dishes or wearing a belt that matches his pants, and not taking her to the ballet... The fact is, men and women, while equal, are also very, very different. You can't expect your man to be a man, and also have all the same interests, habits and style instincts that you do. Having said that, Gary was an inconsiderate slob at the start of the movie so Brooke did have some pretty legit complaints too.

Lesson? Men ≠ Women. Get used to it.

Gary: Is that how you want to play it Brooke? Because I can play it like that. I can play it like Lionel Richie, "All night long."

Brooke decides the best way to get what she wants is to kick Gary out of their bedroom, get him voted out of their bowling team and beaten up, all with the aim of putting him in a bad place mentally so he'll start thinking about what he's done. That never works!! Naturally, he just starts one-upping her. At this point in the movie you start wondering were either of them really cut out for an adult relationship... The closest they come to any sort of couples counseling is their realtor sitting them down to decide what happens to the condo. When you've been in a relationship long enough to buy property together, the grown-up thing to do is work on it together. "Playing it" any other way is just childish.

Lesson? Mindgames ≠ Mature. Don't go there.

: I take care of everything. And I just don't feel like you appreciate any of it. I don't feel you appreciate me. All I want is to know, is for you to show me that you care.
Gary: Why didn't you just say that to me"
Brooke: I tried. I've tried.
Gary: Never like that, you might have said some things that meant to imply that, but I'm not a mind reader...

'Nuff said.

Lesson? Communication = No Bloody Problem In The First Place!!

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