I’ve learned a lot of life’s lesson’s from the movies. For example, you know how in those Alfred Hitchcock movies, when some helpless sap has fallen afoul of the bad guys who are chasing him/her with murderous intent and suddenly Cary Grant screeches to halt, throws open his car door and intensely suggests that they get in the car…. and the person looks at Cary, looks at the bad guys and with very little hesitation, jumps in? Okay. Now imagine that you are the helpless sap and that the car is driven by, say, Mickey Rourke. Different ending, right? Now you’re looking at the dude with the gun and thinking, “I don’t know…maybe he’s not so bad.” Lesson? Be upright. Be honest. Live with integrity so that when you say, “Get in!” you inspire the sort of instantaneous trust required in such situations. In short, BE THE GUY.
Or maybe you’d rather be the girl. Here’s a bit of wisdom that I’m particularly fond of and you can find it in assorted movies from Pretty Woman, to Maid in Manhattan or Pretty in Pink; simply put, a pretty dress can change everything. Everything. Think of Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club. All it took was a hair binder, a bit of lipgloss and a cute little cami/skirt combo to turn her from social outcast to Emilio Estevez’s girlfriend. EMILIO ESTEVEZ’S GIRLFRIEND!!!! If you need any more proof than that I don’t know what to do with you. A pretty dress is not about the dress. It’s about seeing your potential and taking the time to present that specialness with fastidious care. For YOU, not for anyone else. No one’s best day has ever happened when they’ve thrown on sweatpants, run a hand through their hair and said, “Eh. Good enough.” I have those days all the time. And they are fine days…sometimes fun, relaxed days…but they are hardly ever the BEST days. They are “good enough” for most days, but my really best days rarely happen without lipstick.
Here’s another: Chose your roles very carefully for one might define you forever. Christian Bale could play Jesus, for cryin’ out loud, but every time I see him my first thought will always be “Eeep! American Psycho!” Some decisions we make are like that. Driving drunk comes to mind. Marrying your sister’s ex-husband. You can’t take that stuff back. If you’re going to take a truly defining action, try to make it on the level of “donated a kidney to a total stranger” or “left their entire estate to the neighborhood school” and not “ended their movie career in porn.” I’m just sayin’.
There are other lessons for another day, perhaps. Lessons like “Check your lighting” and “Choose a kick-ass theme song.” But for today, I think this is enough; pick good roles. Wear a pretty dress. Be the guy.