"I need films where the girl DOESN'T get the guy, I need an un-happy ending. Hit me with some classics, guys." was the tweet I sent earlier today. Much like a lonely hearts ad, it summed me up completely; I needed something to remind me that I'm human - because if it's happened in a film, it's happened in reality. I received the suspected replies: '500 Days of Summer', 'My Best Friend's Wedding', 'Casablanca'...the list goes on. Every single reply was an option because I just needed something that would transport me from reality to fantasy in seconds, yet still allow me to experience what exactly was happening in my life at the very moment. I didn't want to watch a love story; I wasn't in the mood to watch Sandra Bullock kiss Keanu Reeves having escaped a burning bus in 'Speed', I couldn't put myself through watching Carrie search for apartments with Mr Big in 'Sex and the City' and I most definitely couldn't spend 2 hours watching Emma and Dex fall in love in my ultimate favourite movie, 'One Day'. Nope, I needed harsh reality and I needed to know that just like her character in 'My Best Friend's Wedding', Julia Roberts had somehow felt exactly what I was feeling. Regardless of whether she's acting for a film, I needed to know she had spent days with panda eyes, curled up in bed, regretting past actions and/or words...which brings me to 'Closer'.
When one of my best friend's replied to that tweet, I knew she'd hit me back with an amazing film which would sum up exactly how I was feeling. And I was right, because she suggested the film that has just left me speechless and not just because the naughty C word (I can't type it, but it rhymes with hunt) is mentioned twice. I've heard amazing reviews on this beauty of a film, I'm a big fan of the soundtrack and I definitely do fancy Clive Owen and Jude Law so I should have known it would have been perfect from the start.
"If you believe in love at first sight, you never stop looking." is the tagline. In other words, if love is only an accident, if intimacy is merely a lie we tell ourselves, desire never reaching below the surface, if truth is only self-beneficial honesty is simply self-serving, how on Earth are we supposed to allow ourselves to be loved, to be known and to know and love another human being? 'Closer' focuses on portraying 'modern relationships' - whatever they maybe. It shows the rocky turbulence a relationship inevitably experiences and the harsh reality of personal flaws. It states, in the simplest form, what I've always known: people use love as an excuse to act like a naughty C word. They headfuck others for their own pleasure and then blame their actions on kindness, honesty and love. It's a cruel realisation and one that I would have only been willing to accept coming from Julia Roberts and Clive Owen.
The definition of love is a personal definition, I believe. Nobody has any right to tell you what 'love' actually is because we all experience an individual meaning of the word. For me, love is somebody supporting my ambitions and dreams, somebody who will hold my hair back when I'm being sick and play me Beatles songs on a guitar when I'm sad. 'Closer' tells us that love is not an accident, a stranger, a game, a mis-truth but in fact, it is a feeling that never ends. It's more than a reaction to meeting a perfect stranger for the first time, it's more than kind gestures, honesty and words. Love is what leaves us wanting more.
I asked for a film that wasn't about the normal 'girl meets boy, boy loves girl, girl and boy get married' storyline. I wanted a gritty, harsh, realistic film that would tell me "you know what? Not everything is alright. Love, or what we perceive to be love, will hurt you and it will leave scars that won't ever fade, but it doesn't matter because for a while, you were happy and you were experiencing something."
'Closer' spoke those very words.