Posts Tagged ‘Million Dollar Baby’

Pain Is So Close To Pleasure: aka Don’t Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve in Love, Life and Movies; It Could Get Sunburned

July 23, 2008

I fall in love too easily. That can be misconstrued though, since I’m incredibly picky – I’m highly critical of all the films I see, am really interested in only one sport, and have been hopelessly smitten by only one woman in all my life. The point is that when I do fall, I don’t do it in half measures. I fall in love with something – anything – and it’s an obsessive fascination that borders on unhealthy.

The last film I fell in love with was Million Dollar Baby (2004, still my top choice of the decade), and while Batman Begins (2005) was excellent, it didn’t take me to those heady heights of euphoria. But something told me to prepare for a much different experience in 2008 when its sequel, The Dark Knight, was set to unspool.

2008 had already been noteworthy thus far. Decent films, great football (real football, i.e. the one where you use your feet) even if my three favorite teams all collapsed under the burden of expectation. And of course I irrevocably destroyed my relationship with my best friend and love of my life.

I met Valerie in 2001, within a month of my coming to Canada, and we got on well. She was nice but unassuming, and I expected – and wanted – no more. But through a series of contrivances that would require their own dedicated blog, she ended up spilling the beans that she wanted ‘more’ out of our relationship, and frankly I was, well, flattered, but – worse – curious. But as an 18-year-old freshman in a foreign country and a tough program (Computer Engineering); I wasn’t keen on distractions. Still, I was curious (1st year was a bit of a breeze, anyway) and I acquiesced.

But soon I found myself smitten and in uncharted waters. I was eager to spend as much time with her as I could to nurture our gently flowering relationship, so I did what any enamored boyfriend would: I accepted an invitation from her to go to a weekend Catholic retreat organized by the Youth Group where we first met (oh I didn’t mention we’re both Catholic? Yes, this was a chaste relationship – anyone looking for the smuttiness should wait for the blog post “How I Spend My Weekends In Toronto”).

What happened there will require an epic movie trilogy to do it any justice, so I’ll just summarize as thus: she ran into an old flame (and I don’t mean the Holy Ghost) and the next week said we should just be friends because she had “prayed about it” (ok, maybe it was the Holy Ghost).

So we spent the next 3 years in a curious limbo while our friendship flourished and my life perished. I’d give her advice and a shoulder to cry on, and in some of those vulnerable moments she’d give a good hard thought about the whole ‘friendship’ thing before sticking to her guns. In fact, she majorly flip-flopped at least 3 times, the last – and most earnest – being put off by my reluctance to try that again and get burned. By the time I realized I wanted nothing more than to take that risk, that ship had sailed halfway across the Atlantic, struck an iceberg, and sunk its way to 11 Academy Awards (sorry, wrong movie).

So how does this pertain to The Dark Knight? That will be resolved in the sequel to my maiden Two-Parter (not that I’d expect anyone to have made it this far…)