Sexy vs Dorky

I was going to say that I finally got around to seeing “Eagle Vs Shark“, but it’s only been out for two weeks, so I’m not really slow off the mark. It just seems that everyone who’s cool has already seen it, either at the film festival or by being first in line for general release.

I didn’t see it with a large audience, so many of the opportunities for big laughs were lost or reduced to a smattering of chuckles, but I still found it really funny. But what I got out of it more was the film’s heart.

Before I saw it, I’d heard rumours of a Napoleon Dynamite-esque style, and I knew that the main characters were in the their early 30s, so I wondered how that was going to work. My biggest fear was that main characters, Jarrod and Lily, would come across as a couple of retarded adult-children, and the film would be marred by that.

But even though they were both really dorky and nerdy and awkward and embarrassing and geeky, it still worked and still felt real (as much as real can feel in such a film).

And this is my theory why.

In films, while it’s expected that teenagers will be nervous and awkward when they’ve met someone new and are falling in love, adults don’t get to act the same way. Adults in films are meant to be all cool and sexy. Adults are meant to rip each other’s clothes off and have hot sex straight off. They’re not meant to agonise over hand-holding or have firty but awkward conversations about video games first.

But I don’t think much changes with boyfriend/girlfriend stuff, no matter how much older you get. Falling in love is still awesome, and being dumped still sucks. Your heart doesn’t become numb to such emotions just cos you’re not a crazy teenager any more.

Maybe it’s because we tend to be teenagers when we’re first on the receiving end of these emotions that we think of them as teenage emotions – and for some of us who pair up early and happily, they never show up again. But those of us who have experienced a romantic ending or a beginning will have felt that teenageness showing up again.

So while the courtship of Jarrod and Lily is a bit of an exaggeration, it still manages to capture the craziness involved in that for anyone.

And that’s why, in a funny little way, “Eagle Vs Shark” rang truer for me than any Hollywood romantic comedy has ever managed to.

Or maybe I’m just a dork.