Monday, May 14, 2012
Amy and I watched the beginning of a romantic comedy on the C train Saturday night. We were riding into Brooklyn to a friend's house party. The young lady sitting next to us, alone, was wearing an eye-catching retro dress. Flowy, aqua, not something you normally see on the train. A guy got on and stood near us. He was wearing a deep V-neck shirt, slim jeans and interesting shoes. The scruff on his face seemed controlled.
After a few stops, out of nowhere, he just leaned over and said to the young lady "that's a great dress." She responded effortlessly, as if having a conversation with a stranger on a loud train didn't sap every ounce of psychic energy they both had. Isn't that the case for you too? They stayed engaged in conversation until the stop right before ours, where they both happened to be getting off.
I couldn't help but eavesdrop. He had an English accent. I thought, "I'd strike up random train conversations too, if I sounded like that." Then he said he was a student, studying the science of philosophy and the nature of consciousness. I actually mumbled, out loud, "you've gotta be fucking kidding me." She was a writer of nonfiction, sort of a journalist, who had just written her first book to be published by Random House. Interesting fashion? Check. Quirky jobs/pursuits held by no one you actually know? Check. Crazy coincidence that brings them both together? More or less.
You can't write this stuff. Wait, actually, you can. People do it all the time, and Gary Marshall directs it.
I still experience an inner rebellion every time I see a happy couple or PDA. Yes, I am aware of the irony, since Amy and I churn stomachs regularly. That doesn't mean I have to like it when I see it from the outside. I think that's because A) it really is just gross, and B) it's usually a very young couple going way too far. I think subconsciously they understand that all young relationships are doomed, so they're trying to burn as bright as they can. Is that cynical?
Amy and I tried figuring out where we stand on the rom-com cliche ladder. We're not quite the married power couple who Has Everything Figured Out, functioning with efficiency that puts the Nazi war machine to shame. Nor are we the strange earthy couple who go on and on about our deep, spiritual, New Age connection. We're not that married couple that is Over It All; we need kids to do that. I suppose we could be the starry-eyed newlyweds who learn from the Over It All couple what the challenges of marriage really are, but I don't think we've met that couple yet.
The closest couple I can think of is 30 Rock's Liz Lemon and her newest boyfriend, Criss (James Marsden). They don't necessarily fit any of the rom-com tropes. She's the breadwinner, he's a nice guy who's not really doing a lot with himself, and they'd both rather lay in bed and watch TV than, well, anything.
Though he at least has the initiative to run his own hotdog van.
Colin Fisher is many things to many people, but mostly he's an actor and writer.