Friday, December 9, 2011

I'm Still "Us." Are You?

I love movies.

Old, new, noir, thrillers, chick flicks, epic, low budget, historical, indie, rom- coms, drom-coms, bro-coms, thrill-coms, noir-coms, name it.

I saw two in the past week that attempted to cover the theme of percieved stagnancy, loss of romance and the accompanying estrangement of long term marriage. Blah, blah, blah.

Julianne Moore starred in both movies.
Miss Moore in both films.

She of the skin so pale, the nostrils so quivery, the chin so stalwart yet fragile...and, she of the perfect age to be playing women, still beautiful but in their middle years, who battle the tide of this conflict. Miss Moore was the picture of loveliness--alternately setting her jaw in determination or dissolving in tears.

In both movies, the character portrayed by Miss Moore emotionally utters a very slight variation of an absurd movie line to her movie husbands as their movie marriages struggle to survive their movie crises

Miss Moore's nostrils: "We've stopped being us!" Or, "When did we stop being us?"
Aging well

I waited for either husband, the ever-delectable Liam Neeson and the lovably goofy Steve Carrell to say, "I know who I am. Who the &*%$#*&% are you?" But neither did and they all went down the expected path of conflict, rediscovery and reunion.

Allow me to step in. No one stops being "us." We continue to be "us" but "us" changes.

The "us" of our carefree dating stage is not the "us" of the early married or new parent phase. That young "us" to which Miss Moore refers is the "us" who had rambunctious sex on the washing machine or behind Santa's Village at the mall.
Typecast but appealing.

Miss Moore's movie discontent harkens back to a young "us" who ran through the raindrops in the park as a song by Harry Connick played in the background.

And, may I remind you that all these versions of "us" are creations of the movies. Rarely, are they anyone's reality and if they are, I don't know whether to envy you or report you to the police.

"Us" grows up.  

"Us" starts to get more serious as the problems accrue. Rents must be paid so "us" must hold a job. Babies must be fed so "us" must get up at 2 a.m. and thump their backs until they give "us" a nice, milky belch.

"Us" now has a more mature sense of humor, a wider ass and a hairline that's a little more Bruce Willis than Zack Ephron.
Gimme that hairline!
Buzz off, Bruce.

In the first movie, Ms. Moore is sure that her flirty but devoted husband is cheating on her. In the second, she decides to endanger a solid marriage of 25 years to a predictable but great guy for no apparent reason. She blames loss of us-ness each time. 

If this is what us-ness is all about, Seth and I lost it a long time ago.

It got trampled by the check I had to write when we needed a new roof, the time Tommy and I got chicken pox together and he had to take care of both of us and the cat vomit I slipped in on my way to the kitchen.

But, hold on a minute, what's this in its' place? Oh, yeah--stability, friendship, compassion, maturity and, wait, what's that, stuck there on the bottom? Oh, yes, romance, too.

So, please, women of America, do not fall victim to this foolishness.

Next time you're in a movie theater and someone on screen blathers about having lost "us," I want you to stand up. Let the $20 box of Sour Patch Kids slide off your lap, knocking over the bathtub of Diet Coke you'll never finish and shout to the acoustic tile on the ceiling, "I AM STILL US! MAYBE YOU ASSHOLE SCREENWRITERS ARE NO LONGER YOU, BUT I AM STILL US!" 

Good luck to the 16 year old usher who tries to wrestle you to the ground and drag you away 'cause you're all fired up now!

You can contact me here at The Susan Says... "We are still us...Legal Defense Fund" care of this blog.

Thank you.


  1. So true!! Loved this!

  2. Will the defense fund pay for both bail and a lawyer? Becasue I am going to do what you suggest. Funny.

  3. Us here are cheering Uz there! XO

  4. Rob and I have talked about love being a choice throughout our relationship. Though we are still young love birds, we're realizing through experience the truth we had already known. The constant nights out can't happen anymore, due to lack of both time and money. We have to consider the other person when making our career choices. We need to consider where to live next year. This is not even touching on the questions, the personal quirks, family decisions and others we'll have to make.

    If our relationship were like those movies, we wouldn't have made it to a serious relationship, much less an engagement. Love is hard work. However, it's worthy work when it's with the right person or else I wouldn't do it.

  5. Thank you so much, Maggie and Sharona, the answer is yes, both bail and a lawyer...but funds may get limited based on how many people need assistance.

  6. And we're cheering you right back, Janet! XO

  7. Katie, you two are starting out in a great and healthy way. You will always be a solid "us."

  8. I saw both of the movies you are writing about. Crazy Stupid Love was not as bad as Chloe. That was awful and Julianne Moores nostrils did quiver a lot in that one! Those are the ones. Right?

  9. Hi, Adele. Yes, those are the movies. CSL wasn't very good but Chloe was gag-worthy. Phooey.

    Thanks for your comment!

  10. I wanted a movie marriage, but my sage wife cautioned me they never last. I pointed to Tom and Nicole and Bruce and Demi, if they can do it so can we!!!

    I'm so glad that Demi was able to find love again with Ashton...

    I'm still me, us, and occasionally you.


  11. This post made me think of CSL too. And I actually enjoyed the movie cause Ryan Gosling was in it. I don't remember what it was about - all I remember are his abs, dreamy smile, and when he said "tiny shwants." :)

  12. Scott,you made me laugh! And your wife is very wise...thanks for stopping by!

  13. Anastasia, is that you?!? Welcome!

    And, of course, Ryan Gosling was the only thing I enjoyed about that movie, too!

    Thanks for the comment, young lady!