“I fail as much as I succeed. But I love my life.”
– “Dicky Fox,” Jerry Maguire
One decade later, Jerry Maguire remains to be the most inspiring romantic film I have ever seen. Sure, Henry Roth (Adam Sandler) beats Jerry to defining unconditional love in 50 First Dates, but what the heck . . .
Okay, I fail more than I succeed. There’s no denying that.
Elle met Bruce at a time when everything was and is freefalling. She grew up in an environment where every action resulted in success or progress at least. “Success” the way mainstream society defines it. Bruce is an objective yet intimate man, and for all that he’s seen of the world, he believes that love conquers culture. Okay, let’s not use the L word that Elle has grown out of. Bruce believes that a spiritual connection transcends societal priorities. As much as they love (Sh*t, author cannot substitute the L-word. Thesaurus, please. None. Shift F7. No, not even close.) each other, Elle almost knows their “relationship” is something society would look down upon, not because it is unconventional but because it lacks the “authenticity” that culture requires. Bruce says he doesn’t give a damn about societal standards of authenticity; after all, it’s the two of them who matter in this context. Elle argues he doesn’t understand. And they argue further about something as trivial as Friendster. Anything Elle can come up with just to point out they’d clash in the long run.
What both didn’t know at the time is Elle’s sense of loss and waning self-esteem. Being CV-oriented, she frets over her indefinite delay in her graduate thesis, her degree, her career, her life. Elle admits she’s one self-centered biatch. Like Cuba Gooding Jr.’s character in Maguire, she’s all heart when it comes to relationships, like friends and family, but when it comes to her CV, she’s all about why she didn’t get this job, take that course. And she decides to do everything all for herself right now. Bruce, Mr. CV-success himself, just came at such a bad time. To cushion the fall, she wants to push him away. But as he always does in his PhD undertakings, he is convinced that he is—no, they are going to make it work. He thinks Elle is in too much rush and too concerned about status, and that she has a thing or two to learn about patience. She, however, believes she’s been waitlisted in everything for far too long.
I myself do not know how their story is going, and I’m far from admitting you complete me. But yes, you sure did have me at hello. And I do hope you’re still reading this.