In the dim and distant past, I used to go to the cinema with my friends from school. We’d pay a fee and enter the George and be totally immersed in the experience of sound and vision in the dark. Sometimes the film was so good that we would stay in more than once because the film was on a constant loop and people would come and go at any point in the storyline – “This is where we came in…” and yet our disbelief was entirely suspended.

One film that connected with us teen girls was Love Story and what wasn’t to love? Beautiful people, falling in love in American small town setting with a beautiful soundtrack underscoring the tragedy of inevitable death and parting from love and family. We sobbed in the darkness and blinked through our tears when we finally went back out into the light.

I had a similar experience today when I decided to go and see The Fault in Our Stars for the early morning showing. I am no longer the target audience for this type of film. I have experienced real love and loss so the tears I shed are not so much for the characters but for the recognition of the truths hidden within the Holywood product. The teenage girls in the audience were the 12A intended audience and it was telling that the wee girls who had been so loud and giggly at the start were first silent and then wracked with grief. The film had left its mark. “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”

The Fault in Our Stars shares similarities with Love Story – handsome lead, attractive woman battling cancer, support groups which aren’t that supportive, clever thoughtful dialogue, based on a best seller full of morbid humour. Love and enjoying what is left of life is the underlying theme. We don’t need to be surrounded by chemotherapy drip feeds and x-rays to grasp the fact that life is fleeting, words of wisdom come from unexpected sources and champagne and Vivaldi makes everything better. “He called out to his fellow monks,’Come quickly I am tasting stars.” 

 

Hundred Happy Days – Day 1 cinema trip