So, like the title says, I was finally able to stop wiggling long enough to sit and watch a movie. I’m a sucker for movies about music, and I wanted to see this in theaters—I always want to see things in theaters, really.
Yesterday is a movie starring Himesh Patel as Jack Malik, a struggling singer-songwriter at a crossroads where many creatives often find themselves—safety and security vs. the risk of a dream.
After a particularly rough gig and what, to me, seems like personal discontent with his very own, Summer Song, Jack resigns himself to going back to teaching. The life of a star just isn’t cut out for him, is nowhere in the deck of cards.
On his way home, he drops the bomb on his manager and best friend, Ellie, that he’s ready to call it quits. Ellie doesn’t agree. She’s always supported him and naturally, sees more in Jack than he sees in himself. But Jack is in crisis; it’s been years and there has been little to no movement in his career. At what point does he take responsibility for his life? At what point does he take responsibility for his lack of progression and development?
Frustrated, Jack leaves Ellie’s car and goes to his bike, choosing to ride the rest of the way home. On the way, a global event catapults the world into what we all were low-key afraid was going to happen when the clock struck 12am on 1/1/2000.
The entire world goes dark. Jack gets struck by a bus and loses two teeth. When he wakes up, the Beatles no longer exist, Coke is just cocaine, and as a musician, he has a decision to make.
All in all, the movie is lovely, but for me, it held an underlying sort of depression. There’s another movie that had a similar effect on me, The Words featuring Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana.
What if we never realize our dreams because, even at our best, we’ll never be good enough for greatness?
We’ve been told, ad nauseam, by our parents, teachers, and 1990s programming that if we work hard enough, we can achieve anything. But at what point do we forgive ourselves should we fall short?
I write. I write blog posts that are sometimes poignant and other times…for lack of a better phrase…blithering blather. When it comes to what I’ve published, you could say I write romance. Some would call it emotional and feelings rubbish (we all have an inner caricature of a tenured English professor in a tweed jacket we fight with, often daily). Others would call it akin to going to a nightclub and, while your friends all order Long Islands, you get an amaretto sour—just a bit of liqueur, but nothing heavy. A strumming, throbbing staff instead of a full-blown dick.
Maybe a romance novel will never be the next Great American novel. Maybe it will be and it won’t be mine.
Am I okay with this?
The truth is…I’m not certain. I’m not sure.
At the heart of Yesterday, there is definitely a love story. If you watched Paul McCartney’s appearance on Colbert recently, you’ll know love is/was at the core of very nearly each piece released by The Beatles and subsequently, Sir McCartney-solo. We shuck and shun love, kick and spit, as if it wronged us somehow. As if we weren’t the ones who corrupted it, violated it, and then blamed it for being impure.
And it’s not just love between the two main characters, Jack and Ellie. It’s a love for what you do, what we do as creatives and if, at the end of the day, we can accept “mediocrity.” Love it, even.
If I were a rating person, which I’m very often not, I would give this movie 4 out of 5 stars because it’s not often a love story hurts. We get our HEA, we get our fated couple and even a little friends-to-lovers trope action, but we also get a mirror roundhouse-kicked into our faces. We get our eyes plucked wide, lids pinching. We are forced to see ourselves bare, naked with the imperfections, that little drop at the bottom of our bellies, and the dimples of cellulite in our inner thighs.
All I want is money, eff the fame, I’m a simple…girl.
For me, I don’t want fame, talk shows, guest appearances. However, I would like to accomplish something memorable.
I’d be fine with a Netflix or Disney Channel Plus series. Machine Gun Kelly’s Alpha Omega as the main promo track for The Gatekeeper, and Roman Reigns starring in the first season, Candice Patton in the second (unless she’s tied up with The Flash. I need her to stay there).
I’d be fine with more kind emails and DMs. Seeing the places I write about in person so I can be there for the smells and sounds. Moving my parents to a better neighborhood. Sending my dad on his dream vacation to Aruba. A comfortable life where writing is enough to start nonprofits, live in different countries, live in a home.
When I’ve created this convoluted matrix of a plot in my brain, and I’ve finally regurgitated it in a word processing program, all I need is for it to be at least 85% of what I’d seen in my head.
I have no second dream, no passion greater than this. There are other things I could do, roles I could take-on, but it would always be like a character in a play. There’s nothing like the voice writing has given me, shy girl with the dent in her can, damaged goods, if you will. This ability to communicate when yelling just isn’t my thing.
When the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me.
Shine until tomorrow.
Until next time.