Chances are, you ‘ve never heard of Suburban Girl, the Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alec Baldwin 2007 movie, directed by the writer/director Marc Klein. That is, unless you are a Gellar or Baldwin fan (but even as a Baldwin fan, I seriously doubt it). Well, I have never heard of it either. Until last week when it appeared on my tv screen out of the blue delivering mighty personal message. But first thing first..
When you google the film’s title, you will find out it’s actually an indie romance and if you track down some of the reviews, you won’t be very impressed. However, this film, has become a shining example for me, why I don’t like film reviews and people telling you which movies you should and should not like, or even consider watching at the first place. Of course there are tons of movies which I do not like and would not recommend either. There are also some where I wonder why anyone would even finance them, or worse – think what a waste of money they were. BUT at the end of the day, I do believe every single movie that has ever been made, can find at least one fan. Or more importantly, one person who just got the message, while it remains hidden to the rest of us, simply because they found themselves at a certain place at a certain time in their lives, where it would just click. Then, the film considered rubbish by many, would actually become a treasure for one. It becomes an inspiration. Or an eye-opener which might help that person to move on from something that no longer serves them. Whatever that might be, the film would simply become part of who they are only by being seen by them at the right time of their lives.
That’s what the Suburban Girl became for me.
Last Friday, I was sat on the couch with my mom who was randomly clicking through the tv channels in a desperate hope of finding something that would be worth watching or served at least as a background for the night that was already halfway through, yet we both felt like it was still too early to go to bed. She came across the Suburban Girl which did not look too bad, especially since it had Alec Baldwin in it. We gave it a shot.
Oh my. Very early on, I became suspicious. Was my mom trying to tell me something or was this really just a coincidence?! It seemed nearly impossible..
The topic of the film – a story of a young woman, Brett Eisenberg (Sarah Michelle Gellar) who finds herself in a relationship with Archie (Alec Baldwin), a guy who by his age could easily be her father, seemed strangely familiar. As she is a publishing assistant who wants to be a big-time editor but lacks self-confidence, and he is a literary lion so to speak, with rich experience in the field, she often turns to him for an advice and so he not only becomes her lover but also her teacher. He, too, has a lot of issues he needs to deal with, like estranged daughter, alcoholism etc. and Brett is determined to help him. But is he really the right person for her to be with? Or is her father concerned for her for the right reasons? Despite loving Archie deeply, is this really what she wants for her life? But she needs him and feels lost without him – so, isn’t that the answer to everything?
I am not gonna reveal which of the storylines resonated with me the most, as I have probably hinted out too much already anyway. I’ll just say, I have recently ended up a three-year relationship, but was still having hard time facing the fact and admitting myself the inevitable truth. Until seeing this unimportant film that no one’s ever heard of and which appeared on my tv screen by accident. Although, if you ask me, I am strongly convinced some higher power put it on the channel’s program that night, and it was intended especially for me. And you know what? It helped. It hit the target. And it worked miracles, actually.
It’s so strangely empowering to be watching a story that you can relate to and to witness how the main character deals with similar issues and doubts as you are dealing with. What is she gonna do?! Cause I have no idea what to do myself or if I actually made the right decision.
Once the character makes their decision though, there are two things that can happen, but both equally important: either you will strongly identify with it – or otherwise. But both are eye-opening experiences. In my case, it was the first one. It was just that one sentence Brett told to Archie at the very end of the film as the reason why she cannot continue their relationship, that made all the difference to me. All of a sudden I understood. As her, I too realized, I still have some growing up to do, and I cannot do that while constantly relying on somebody’s advice and support. I need to make it on my own first. And then… well, who knows. Our story might not be over yet. But for now, I am at exactly the place where I need to be. And I once again remembered my favorite quote I once came across: Appreciate where you are in your journey, even if it’s not where you want to be. Every season serves its purpose.
And through Sarah Michelle Gellar‘s words I finally saw a reason I found myself here, at this place in my life, too. And that finally set me free. It was more powerful than all the self-help / philosophy books you could ever read or any life coaches’ advice on a heart-break you could ever get (and don’t take me wrong, I love those, I am not laughing at them!). Or any advice of your trusted friends, which you knew were right but just.. just wouldn’t work and bring you peace. Yet this film, pretty much in just one sentence, did.
The one big quality of the film being, it did not try to force on you any opinions, it only tried to make you think and consider. Together with Brett. Honestly, if nothing else, there is something right about the script for sure!
Movies can be mighty revealers. Which is one of the aspects I love most about them, and which brings me back to the title of this blog post – why every movie matters. I really believe it’s so. They might not exactly win Oscars, nor be critically acclaimed. They might even be films no one ever heard of, or films you would have never watched if it wasn’t by a chance. But maybe, just maybe, especially those, might become ground breaking for you. Not for the film industry, not for Roger Ebert, but for you, my dear. After all, inspiration and wisdom often lies in the most uncommonly places. So please, do take chances on films. Even the worst of films might have a lesson to give (if nothing else, than that you should invest your time more wisely next time).
And I am deeply convinced that if a movie can help to just one person in the world, in any way possible, it is a successful film and all the hard work of the people behind it was worth it. After all, aren’t movies all about inspiring and opening our eyes? Well, this one has opened mine and helped me to face the truth. So, thank you Marc Klein, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alec Baldwin for this life lesson that your film has become for me. I shall not forget it.