I know that it’s not The Holiday, or Love Actually but my Mum and I watched this film on Sunday and it got me feeling all types of things…
If you haven’t seen the film Sleepless in Seattle, here’s a little low down…
On Christmas eve a little boy rings into a radio show to make a Christmas wish. He wishes for his Dad to have a new wife, since his Mum had died a year previously.
At this point I’m already crying.
He’s a gorgeous 8 year old that knows what his Dad needs. Tom hanks (the widower) is fresh faced, unapologetically sad but endlessly witty. Meg Ryan, prettier than Kiera Knightly in the scene “I look quite pretty”, is driving to her fiancés house for Christmas when she hears this on the radio. Hanks starts to open up about his wife and Ryan speaks back to him, whilst crying in her car, knowing exactly what he’s going to say. She hasn’t even seen him yet but she knows that he is the magic that she’s been waiting for.
Back and forth and eventually Ryan leaves her fiancé and runs across New York, making it to the top of the empire state building. They lock eyes, and it’s love at first sight. Neither of them really has to say anything, they walk hand in hand into the elevator to live happily ever after. They don’t live in the elevator, obviously they just use that to descend from the top of the Empire State Building. Just for clarity.
It’s a classic meet cute. And they’re everywhere, all around us, you can even see it on Love Island or Instagram. People everywhere finding “the one.” But for some reason at Christmas it feels far more achievable and desirable.
What worries me is that in waiting for this, for this kind of perfection or quite frankly miracle, am I going to end up missing something worth working toward. Maybe that moment, those fireworks can happen after 2 years of being with someone?
I’ve been thinking about love a lot recently. Actually not love so much but relationships. I was writing a piece for Uni on social media making monogamy difficult, so I had to interview different experts on love and relationships.
I spoke to a sex expert that said the whole world would be happier if we unlocked our monogamous chains, broke free and followed our desires. Open relationships, illicit encounters, polyamory and sexual positivity. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little intrigued. Stability at home with honesty about the fact that you’re shagging someone else in a way that you and your partner never would.
But then I watch a film like this, Sleepless in Seattle where Meg Ryan knew instantly that she had found the love of her life, without even meeting him!
I spoke to Faye’s parents. A couple who I admire. They love each other like they’re 18, they rarely argue and they have built a gorgeous life together. They saw each other across their student union and Sal knew that Si was the one.
The most important thing that I took away from out interview was that perfection doesn’t really exist “If you find someone that you’re 80% compatible with, the other 20 will come with time.”
Social Media presents a lot of problems, this being one of them. Instant satisfaction. We want everything now. Words like compromise and patience just don’t sound that sexy.
Social media causes lots of problems, for example with facilitating cheating, being able to keep your tinder active or slide into you exes DM’s. But I think that the main problem is comparison. We are constantly comparing what we have, to what we want. Right on a screen in front of you is the greener grass. Of course we all know that social media is only a small selection of a persons life or relationship, but perfection is definitely presented as obtainable.
It’s not just social media, we’ve seen it forever. Sleepless in Seattle is the perfect example and it’s what we’re all striving for no? I’m an idealist and a romantic and I want to set alight. I want to be unable to do anything else but stare into the eyes of one other person and know that they are who I will spend the rest of my life with.
And just because it’s Christmas I want somebody to turn up on my doorstep, with giant cue cards telling me that they love me: “just the way you are.”
I’m sure that there’s a stage in your life when other things become more important, stability, friendship and loyalty. And I’m not saying I want perfection once in a relationship. I think that’s impossible, especially with me because my mind changes at the speed of light and sometimes I even shock myself with what I want, vs what I say vs what I actually end up doing. But right now, especially at Christmas, if I want anything, I want magic.
Because actually, if it’s not Sleepless in Seattle, if it’s not magic, then what’s the point?