Awhile ago, I asked people on Facebook and Twitter whether or not I should go see Black Swan by myself. Whether because it looks kind of creepy and Darren Aronofsky did it. Or not because it would bring me to as-yet-unknown depths of self-loathing because I am not Natalie Portman. I’m not saying I want to be a bisexual nutcase masochist. It’s just…damn, Natalie Portman. Why you gotta be so tiny and pretty and probably smart? How is that fair?
While most people in the world are not Natalie Portman, girls like me have never gotten to know what it’s like. 5’9″ isn’t that incredibly tall now that I’m a grownup, but it’s still kinda tall and I’ve been this height since the 6th grade. You try going to freshman year homecoming with some boy who comes up to your shoulder. Even when I was very thin, I still didn’t feel like it because I’ve got bones like a peasant. I might not have shapely childbearing hips, but my shoulders could carry water buckets for an Eastern European village. No one would ever call me cute, delicate, or twee. It’s just not in my DNA.
And mostly, I’m okay with this. I’m a reasonably well-adjusted adult who never developed an eating disorder or other significant psychological problem. I’m not gorgeous but I’ve done all right for myself. I may not have gone to Harvard or, as Janeane Garofalo described after encountering Natalie Portman in an elevator, have a jeans zipper the size of a thumbnail, but so far this has not hindered my success in getting people inside of my jeans. I’m adequate, and this is fine, but sometimes I’d like to know what it’s like to be Natalie Portman.
Except in Garden State.
I like Garden State. I thought it was funny and semi-interesting. I don’t really understand the appeal of Zach Braff, but I suppose that guys like him only get the parts they write for themselves. So good for him, I guess.
The first time I saw Garden State, I didn’t really think about Natalie Portman. She was just this girl in the movie. A little silly and immature, maybe (okay, The Shins are good but they’re not going to change anybody’s life), but a respectable character. However, now that I’ve read this, I feel a new wave of distaste for Natalie Portman-from-Garden State, and for quirky twee girls in general.
Quirky twee girls are cute, delicate, and, well, twee. They can wear mismatched clothes and nobody thinks they’re a hobo. They drink sweet blended coffee and listen to unlistenable indiepop and always leave their credit cards behind in bars. They still believe in PETA. They’re also fucking crazy, and this is what that link says.
Being a quirky twee girl isn’t about being cool and unique. It’s about being enough of a lunatic that you really don’t give a shit what you do or say, because no reasonable human being would walk around sticking their headphones on a stranger’s ears. They don’t let things like consequences occur to them, because if they did, they’d move out of their parents/roommates/maybe-but-not-really ex-boyfriend’s place and do things on their own for a change. Quirky twee girls are maddening because they never ever mean what they are, and they never ever admit this. They’re too busy putting kindergartener’s barrettes in their hair.
Hey, sorry. I’m saying this because it’s true. I’ve known enough quirky twee girls in my time to spot them a mile away. I’ve been friends with them and my friends have dated them. And every time – every single fucking time – the outcome is the same. These weird, nutty, secretly insecure girls make a hobby out of screwing with your mind and then going ballistic when you call them on their shit. Pop quiz: who was the last female person you knew to threaten suicide over something trivial? I bet you 90 to 1 it was a quirky twee girl type. These girls have no personality of their own (or if they do, they’re terrified it’s the wrong one) and so construct an entirely different personality around themselves to compensate. And because this personality doesn’t really belong to them, the things they do don’t carry the same kind of weight as they would if someone else did them, because it’s like they didn’t even do it in the first place. It’s okay to flirt with being a quirky twee girl; everyone should be at least a little dumb and irresponsible from the ages of 19 to 22. But beyond that point, 24 at the latest, it gets really fucking old.
Girl, I do not have time for your shit. I have a job and bills and it’s hard enough getting people to take me seriously without batshit weirdos like you ruining everything. I don’t want to see your endless Facebook statuses about how hard it is to be so pretty. I don’t want to hear you complain about never having any money because you are old enough to know how to fucking support yourself by now. I don’t want you creating a female stereotype that will taint every relationship I have in the future, be it romantic, professional, or personal. I definitely don’t feel like taking care of you when you’re “surprisingly ” shitfaced and about to barf all over those overpriced shoes. You need to get on the good foot and do the bad thing like an adult, because it is real life out here and so far, no one’s made you experience it.
…That said, I think Graham and I are going to see Black Swan on Sunday. Like I said, I’m a little bit interested because of Darren Aronofsky, though I was surprised that Graham was interested without even knowing about the lesbian sex scene. We saw True Grit last Sunday. The Coen brothers’ screenplay was in the back of my head, but mostly I wanted to see it because it looked good. And manly. And Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, so look out, panties!
I loved True Grit. I thought it managed to be both hilarious and austere, which is typical for a Coen brothers film but still a feat considering we’re talking about a remake of a John Wayne movie. Beautifully shot, and it moved in such a way that although I know it was adapted from a novel, it seemed to me like it could have been originally written as a Hemingway short story. Three tight, stark, but fully realized acts, full of subtle little gut punches.
And I’m sure the lesbian sex scene in Black Swan will be just as masterful. Obviously.