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Cameron Crowe Ruined My Life

Believe me when I say that it pained me to type out the title to this post.

Cameron Crowe is one of my very favorite filmmakers. To me, a guy who can write teenagers who are real people, really capture the full spectrum of human emotion, and incorporate a great soundtrack into his work is a real genius.

Though it initially made me feel warm, fuzzy, and hopeful, a recent late night viewing of 2005's Elizabethtown ended up making me a little nervous. I realized that Crowe was just like everybody else.

Now, this probably doesn't make sense to those of you who admire his work. As a writer and filmmaker, Crowe definitely has a unique voice and vision that helps his work connect with all kinds of audiences. That's precisely the problem.

Last week I wrote a post about how movies are only a reflection of life and not actually true to life itself. In the post, I mentioned that filmmakers are just one person with one perspective, and that is absolutely true of Crowe. In Crowe's world, kickboxing is the sport of the future, young teenage boys get to hang with '70s rock bands, and side one of Led Zeppelin IV is essential makeout music.

Oh man, I'd love to live in that world.

I hate to break it to you, but I don't. You don't either. It breaks my heart that the closest I'm going to get to Lloyd Dobler and his boombox is listening to "In Your Eyes" through my headphones in a crowded building on campus as I type this and that my real life version of Elizabethtown's perfect road trip is actually just me screaming at Siri to give me directions. I guess I could still technically order a pizza to class (I've definitely thought about it).

Right beside my broken heart, though, lies a certain hope and gratefulness. The point I forgot to make in last week's post is that it's still really great that these cinematic worlds exist. While it's dangerous to try and live in them, falling into someone else's reality and an oversimplified view of the world, it's amazing that we still have the opportunity to escape to them.

Even though I can't be with Lloyd Dobler, I still can't help but admire his romanticism, optimism , and loyalty and try to be more like that. I can't take Claire's road trip, but I can listen to the playlists.

I think the point of all of this is to watch movies responsibly. Watch, enjoy, even emulate a little. Get inspired. Just don't fall down the rabbit hole. You are your own person, despite the movies you love being integral to your make up. And, for the love of all that is good, don't go buy a boombox. It's probably going to turn out creepy.


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