I am on a plane with my family over international waters and I am crying. Not silent tears streaming down my face but desperate snotty headache-inducing sobbing. I am trying to be quiet because I’m not being hurt. Nothing bad is happening. I am just being completely and utterly emotionally wrecked by… Marley & Me.
An air hostess walks towards me, concerned enough by my bedraggled state to ask if I am okay. She looks at my screen and comprehension dawns on her face. “Ah” she says and then continues walking down the aisle. Now, the thing is, nobody forced me to watch the movie. I chose to because I had read the book and knew what happened. I thought I was prepared for it. Nope.
I hadn't factored in the feelings of reality. I had forgotten that this was a true story and that a family had lived this life with this chaotic crazy loveable dog. Thoughts of my own dog and the life our family would lead with her filled my head.
Why had I watched this? Why had I put myself through the pain? Funnily enough, this was not the only sad movie I watched whilst floating amongst the clouds. My rational and slightly masochistic brain decided it would be a good idea to watch The Fault In Our Stars & If I Stay back to back. For anyone wondering, I have never fully recovered.
This got me thinking… Why is it that we watch sad movies/TV shows or read sad books? We know they’re going to be sad. We can’t expect anything different. And yet every time, a Nicholas Sparks book is turned into an epic heart-wrenching romance saga, we can’t help it. We watch it with the hope that one of them will turn out to be sunshine and rainbows. But every time we are left crushed by the tragedy on the screen before us.
You’d think with all the real life pain and tragedy that unfolds each and every day around the world, we’d want to be wrapped in a bubble of happiness with smiles and unicorns. But that’s not the case. We want to see Rose and Jack fall in love whilst hoping that maybe the ship doesn’t hit the iceberg this time and they might finally get that happy ending because no matter what anyone says THERE WAS ROOM ENOUGH FOR BOTH OF THEM.
Maybe it’s a coping mechanism? In a world where we are constantly moving fast and being told to stuff our emotions away because it’s a weakness, maybe the only time we feel we can cry is in the darkness of a movie theatre in the comfort of our own room with only Netflix for company or you can be like me and sob in the company of strangers as you soar over the ocean. It's your choice. Now excuse me, I have to go hunt for a happy movie.