Ever wish your life was a coming-of-age movie?

by becky stormer ~

Sometimes I wonder whether it’s healthy to become so engrossed in a TV series or film. There’s something so satisfying yet so scary about the effects of the big screen. I write this having just watched Normal People twice in the space of 6 days. That is 12 episodes, twice over…Fuck, it was good. It becomes a source of endless chats with friends as you pick apart every scene; how intense was that hug at the funeral? Why did I feel like I was intruding on every scene? Why doesn’t Marianne get a grip and go to New York? And how you are beyond ecstatic that they didn’t butcher such a sensational, spine-tingling, thought-provoking novel. But along with this comes a sense of dissatisfaction. The realisation soon comes that, however relatable some of the scenes seemed to be, it’s not real life. My friends and I wondered if we would ever experience the kind of love story that Marianne and Connell have, and we came to the sad conclusion that no, we probably wouldn’t. So, should we really be investing so much of our time and feelings into a life that isn’t ours? And should we be comparing our love lives to a socially-constructed version of it? Sometimes it makes me wonder if I’m missing out on real life by thinking so much about someone else’s. I’ve often found myself in a situation and thought “this could be in a coming-of-age movie”, but it just doesn’t feel the same? Or I don’t feel the same as I would had I been watching it on the screen? And this stresses me out! Why would I rather watch something than be the lead actress in the scene?! Maybe this is due to a detachment from real life from watching too many movies with unrealistic storylines. Or maybe it’s time to become an actress?