Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

I watched The Young Victoria yesterday. Again.

Every once in a while I get the urge to watch a "bonnet movie." You know, a movie where all the women wear beautiful dresses, and all the men wear high boots. Where everyone is witty, and the stakes are purely interpersonal. Where it's clear from the beginning who is going to fall in love, so any angst suffered along the way is throughly enjoyable. This happened sometime last January and to satisfy my craving I got on Netflix and watched Bright Star. I was less than pleased.

A similar urge ceased me sometime last summer. Once again I consulted Netflix. I found The Young Victoria. And it was love.

If you are a guy, this may be a good time to bow out. I don't know that this is a guy movie. Unless you're a guy like my dad--who called me, several weeks ago, to inform me that when I got home we were going to watch all of the six hour Pride and Prejudice and do a textual analysis of it in which he would prove, once and for all, that Lizzy did not fall in love with Darcy for his money.

But, if you're not a guy, or if you're a guy like my dad (in which case we should talk), let me tell you what I love about this movie.

There is your normal run of good things--the script is smart (though not fast paced), and the acting ranges from inoffensive to excellent. The film is beautifully shot (mostly), and the score is lovely.

But I've got to tell you, what I really love about The Young Victoria is Victoria.

I have thing for smart heroines. If my smart heroines are also powerful and deeply flawed, then I am completely sold. (it's the perfect combination of things i am and things i wish i were. i'll let you guess which are which.)

Victoria is strong. This strength saves her from a childhood full of hurt and in which she was denied any power at all. However, this same strength is detrimental later in her life, as her stubborn streak makes her unwise. I love this. I love that the best parts of her are also the worst parts. It's something I recognize from life.

I have to talk a little bit about Alfred too, because I love him almost as much.

I like Alfred on his own. He seems basically kind, and extremely smart. When I fall for him, though, is when he's with Victoria.

He is supportive while having his own opinions, gives good advice, loves music, and is nice to her dog. He is saved from perfection, however, by something like pettiness, which is a flaw that we as viewers are prone to forgive. If he were cowardly, or (heaven forbid) humorless, it would be more difficult. But pettiness is forgivable and even lovable.

They make me happy.

And while we're talking about things that make me happy (which we should definitely continue doing, because it's a great excuse to not fill out job applications) I should mention Humans of New York.

I stumbled across this last week with the assistance of facebook and an excellent English teacher. (thanks jackson.) And it just makes me smile. And want to go to New York. And take up photography...

Go check it out.

...No, seriously. Why are you still here?