The Evolution of a Relationship, In DVDs

Are you in the "Annie Hall" phase or the "Closer" phase? These are important distinctions!

Nov 22, 2011 at 5:00pm | Leave a comment

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Being the young(ish) brokester that I am, the BF and I spend a lot of our date-time sitting on my couch, watching movies and eating homemade popcorn (sometimes I jazz it up with truffle salt, leftover from my Gainfully Employed Years).  

After waaaay to much coffee, I got to thinking about how much of most couples' time spent together is spent in front of the TV, and how maybe movies could actually define the phases of a relationship.  

We're still in the "Wild at Heart" phase right now (which is cool, because I can’t help wanting so hard to look like Laura Dern in that movie), but so far, I think I've come up with a pretty comprehensive timeline of the way basically all relationships go, charted entirely by entertainment choices. 

PHASE ONE: "Species"  

This is the "watch anything just to be on the same couch" phase. You know, when you still think of yourself of an independent entity, free to run around the city wantonly banging guys and then viciously snapping their necks when we find out they have diabetes.  No?  Just me?

PHASE TWO: "Love Actually"

This is when you've moved on to the Having Feelings phase but you're both too shy to say anything so you watch something where you're forced to watch fake people confront their emotions as your proxy. What a delightful movie about how terrible falling in love is! The best part is that with all the different story lines, you can pick your own neuroses. Which couple are you? Maybe the John and Judy plot? You know, the one where you've been pantsless with somebody but can't bring yourself to ask him out on a normal date?

PHASE THREE: "Wild at Heart"

Once a couple has finally managed to admit that they, you know, like each other, they’ve got free reign to make out in bars and generally be sort of insane about each other for a few months.  Some people call this the “honeymoon phase.” I call it “Nicolas Cage screaming ‘POWERMAAAAAAAAAAD!’ and thrash dancing in the middle of nowhere with Laura Dern.” Same thing.  Except Willem Defoe is hopefully only involved in one of these scenarios.


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PHASE FOUR: "Annie Hall"

Eventually, however, you’re going to have to admit that no matter how hard you try to make things work, you’re both damaged and messed up. Can two crazy people be crazy for each other, you wonder, at this point probably still holding hands? Maybe, if one of them looks really good in a vest.

PHASE FIVE: "Closer"

This is when you've been together long enough where you take joy in irritating the other person on purpose.  Like, after my ex-boyfriend and I knew it was over, but we still lived together, he would leave the shower curtain open to spite me, so I would leave the sponge in the sink or sometimes put the toilet paper roll on backward!!!!  (Have you seen "Closer"? It’s basically just like this.)

PHASE SIX: "The Squid and the Whale"

If you survive the "Closer" phase and you're still making time to watch movies together, consider yourself lucky. Congratulations -- you can now live in Park Slope and try to pretend that you’re a civil human being who would never intentionally not throw out milk that was past its expiration date just to be annoying. Probably at this point, one of you will have a little drinking problem or an Ambien hobby. While you seem settled as a couple, you may secretly guilitily troll Craigslist, looking for a potentially diabetic guy to bone in order to bolster your self confidence. And, the cycle begins anew.

Right? 

Well, OK. I feel like this is a pretty accurate representation of the way all of my relationships go.  Although to be fair, I had a really hard time thinking of movies that were actually just about a happy couple who stays that way for the whole movie (I guess that’s kind of boring?), so that relationship era kind of got glossed over.  Also, I usually watch "The Flinstones: Viva Rock Vegas" in every significant relationship I've had, but alas, I've yet to divine the deeper meaning of it. You know, on an emotional level.