Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zizzou is possibly my favorite movie. It’s about a wildlife documentary filmmaker who’s seeking a “jaguar shark” that ate his best friend, and stars Bill Murray and Owen Wilson. I have seen this movie hundreds of times, and I know the lines so well that I could have played a role in it myself.
But for some reason I cried the last time I watched it.
It was unexplainable as to why I sat alone in my living room, saying “what the hell,” with streams running down my face. You’d think that if someone were going to cry while watching a movie that it would be on the first time and not the 400th.
The first time I remember being moved to tears was in 4th grade class reading Karen Heese’s Phoenix Rising. It’s about a friendship between two youths that takes its toll when one of them succumbs to their Cancer sickness. It was a really mature book to be reading, and when I got to that scene I began to cry. I had connected with the characters over days of reading, and it was as if I knew them.
I have spiral notebooks from 5th grade where I had written love poems about the crushes I had. I remember whenever I was put on punishment at recess, which happened a lot, I would sit in the corner and write. I’m not sure how much a 10 year old knows about sitting by a fireplace in the wilderness, but I must have known something.
Perhaps my childhood romanticisms have carried over into my adulthood, thus making me dangerously sensitive to the most unexpected circumstances and a hopeful romantic. My name is Brad Basker. I own every Jane Austen novel and I could cry at any cinematic moment.
Is that such a bad thing?
When 300 came out I was made fun of for not speeding to theatres to see it. My closest male friends questioned everything from my sexuality, to whether or not I was even a man. Admittedly I did grow a few more chest hairs when I saw it eight months after it came out.
But at the time that 300 came out I was on a quest to find the latest version of Pride and Prejudice on DVD. I had spent 18 hours in the back of a Lincoln Town Car reading the novel and crying, and I had to have more.
But who says that every guy has to like movies that have explosions, decapitations, and whores. I attended a “girl’s night” my freshman year here. We wore pajamas, ate banana chips and frosting while watching The Notebook. It was a beautiful experience that I wish I could have more often. It was an interesting experience to watch four adult women have girl talk, and I like to think I gained a little more understanding after that night.
Chick flicks may not be for everyone, but I think men would understand women a lot more if they opened up. Maybe a lot of the mistreatment of the opposite sex is based on the unwillingness to watch Grease objectively. Besides, it might be more “manly” to go against the grain and be that loan rebel who does push-ups while watching Under the Tuscan Sun.