seen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens, NY
I wrote a post once in which I revealed some of the craziest things I did for love of a girl. Some were less weird than others, true, but in every instance I believed myself totally justified in my actions. Didn't matter if I was thinking straight or not.
I've tried to play it cool. I've told myself that I can't let things get out of hand in dealing with females, can't let things go to extremes, because that has been a problem for me in the past. There was one woman whom I almost scared off completely because I came on way too strong and didn't even realize it. For a brief period afterward, we didn't speak, but because this particular woman has a tremendously compassionate and generous nature, she eventually forgave me and let me back into her life, and I have been forever grateful, because my life is a thousand times better with her in it. We're good friends now and that suits me fine.
Love makes you crazy. No great revelation there, but when you think about it, that fact is mind-boggling. And a lot of the time, what we think is love at the time turns out to be a simple crush, or lust based on surface qualities. I've pursued a wide variety of women over the years, but if I were to be truly honest... I'd say that out of all the times I thought I was in love, I think I've only felt it for real... three times. Three times in which I knew that yes, she's the one. Out of those three, I only had a legitimate shot at two. Neither worked out.
So I look at Matthew McConaughey's titular character in Mud and despite the things he does, I can relate to him in a way, because he can't quite take his dream girl down from off of that pedestal he put her on, even though he probably should. Maybe what he feels for Juniper is love, maybe not, but man, if you've got your mind set on a girl, nobody can tell you anything. Love makes you crazy...
... something young Ellis slowly learns over the course of this poignant and ultimately endearing film, another triumph from Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols. Ellis, being a kid, wants to believe in the power of love, even when seeing it crumble between his parents; even though the evidence suggests Mud and Juniper may not be right for each other after all; even as he himself falls for a girl that seems to be out of his league... It's the kind of blind faith that only a kid can have, and because growing up is as painful as it is, it's ripe for a dose of harsh reality.
Still, Mud finds a way to end on a hopeful note - and that's what keeps suckers like me going, doesn't it - hope that the next girl will look our way, hope that she can look past the surface and see what's underneath, hope that we won't blow it this time. After all, we need some way to get through this hell of a life, don't we?