The movie ‘How To Be Single’ is about a girl who is always focusing on her romantic relationships. Almost every scene is about how her life revolves around men. Near the ending, she realizes she needs to just focus on herself and grow. There’s a thirty-second montage where she’s hiking, reading books on self-improvement and working on herself. She reaches the end of a hike and smiles at the view. The movie ends.
I was laughing thinking about this montage as I drove home at the end of a long day. This thirty-second montage ends and poof! She’s figured out her life. She’s discovered herself. And she can also carry really heavy hiking equipment on her back. I do love when movies show the progress a character makes, even if it’s only a brief clip. Yet this period of growth and change is going to be the next thirty years of our life, not the next thirty seconds.
That’s not what we want to hear. We often imagine life after the thirty-second montage, not during it. Even though most of life happens within that thirty seconds.
Movies make us think that transformation should be fast, so we tend to give up when it’s not happening fast enough for us. Thirty-second montages in movies also make us think that this process is all about what happens after, at the end. I’m mad at most movies for tricking us into believing that’s how it is in life. That’s okay, though. I won’t be watching too many movies for awhile. I’m in my thirty-second montage.