Has your friend ever told you a confusing convoluted story about meeting someone on Twitter who lives the next state over and how they went over to this person’s crib against their better judgement, only to be swindled out of gas and toll money, precious time, and their sanity. Okay, it doesn’t have to be that specific. But in the mix of their anger and the safety of your company, you thought to yourself, “Couldn’t have been me!”. If you’ve never did this then this article is for you, honey! An occasional slip, or a tumble, or even a fall on the rocky road to success is expected. I won’t downplay learning from your mistakes. But with all the mistakes happening in this world, your trip down that rocky road would be smoother if you paid attention to what already happened to the last person who tried that same move two weeks ago. Of course, not every situation is the same. The moral of the story is to work smarter, not harder. If you’re not close to any damsels in distress, there are tons of movies and problematic favs to gain insight from. So here are three movies that ultimately taught me lessons I didn’t have to suffer through.
Love & Basketball
Love and Basketball had many themes worthy of discussion from parents pushing their expectations onto their children to cheating on a lover but we’ll focus on the main issue at steak. My friends love this movie but when I bring up that this idea of romance is toxic, it’s quiet. So since no one wants to say it, I will: Monica and Quincy’s relationship was problematic because it depended on each other for the emotional stability they didn’t receive in their home life. My best example is when Monica chose her previously established commitment to her basketball team over Quincy’s emotions, he became spiteful. He placed a strain on their relationship by entertaining other girls to get a rise out of Monica forcibly making himself a bachelor and distancing himself from prior engagements he made with his father, Monica, and himself.
Allowing someone else to carry the weight of your burdens because they care is just as draining as it sounds. It is one thing to be a confidant, it is a completely different thing when that person is expected to stop their life to help you live yours. So much of this would have been solved if he just talked to her about why he was upset with her! When people get caught up in their feelings like this, it’s hard to see the bigger picture and understand that everything does not revolve around you. For pettiness to gear how someone is treated is juvenile and takes more energy than it would to talk it out.
The power of social cliques will consume you if you let them. Sweet Cady Heron was oblivious to high school norms: rumors, boys, and the queen bee Regina George. She fell head first when she grew hungry for attention and idolized a lifestyle she didn’t have in Africa (which was specified where but that’s a conversation for another time) with 12 years of homeschooling. With the help of her friends Janis and Damian, they started the fire that lead Cady adhering to a girl code that meant trampling everyone including close friends if that meant she would be on top.
Though Mean Girls is a movie set in high school doesn’t mean the concept is lost. Social pressures are just as prevalent in college. Cliques are a distinct separation from others based on image and status. It only makes maneuvering through different spaces challenging. It’s only goal is to marginalize people who are different from you. Cady lust for being popular, pretty, with a cute boy on her arm was submissive to high school culture. She wanted fans instead of friends and that was her biggest detriment. All in all, stop idolizing people who do not have your best interest at heart. It is not worth getting out of yourself to transform for the worst to be more appealing. It’s not true with they say, there is a such thing as bad publicity. No one understands your best interest more than you do. Don’t make a mockery out of your values, goals, and friendships because you want to appeal to people who don’t care about you.
Napoleon Dynamite isn’t much about learning from mistakes than it is its own lesson. It’s okay to be weird. Napoleon is this socially awkward and almost unaware teenage boy that demonstrates confidence in his own way. He is bold in how he speaks even if it comes with dry heaving deep sighs and an unwavering lethargic look in his eyes. He sticks up for his friends, speaks out against his weird uncle and brother, and is unapologetically himself. Being a social outcast and having the ability dance like nobody is watching for the school talent show in front of the entire student body is courageous than Cady Heron could have ever done with a single Plastic finger. Be more like a Napoleon because even though to this day no one knows what the plot for Napoleon Dynamite is, he stayed in his lane, encouraged his friends to be themselves, and spoke up for himself even when no one cared. Those are ultimately the products of a happy life.