When you avoid emotions at all cost, as Michael Taylor once did, you also tend to avoid romantic comedies (aka ‘chick flicks’).
As I reflect back over my teenage years, some of my fondest memories growing up include going to the movies. Of course, back then my interest wasn’t always focused on just watching the movie. In most cases, I was more interested in using the movie as a way to get my date in a dark quiet place to see if I could get past first base. If I was really lucky, I might even get a chance to “accidentally” touch her breast as I attempted to put my arm around her. Those were the good old days.
Steven Simon (author and producer of Somewhere in Time and What Dreams May Come) really encapsulates how I feel about movies when he writes, “Movies are the most electrifying communications medium ever devised and the natural conduit of inspiring ourselves to look into the eternal issues of who we are and why we are here.”
I’m sure most people reading this may not have such a serious definition of what movies mean, but to me, that sums it up. Movies can inspire us and help us discover who we are and why we are here.
Whether it’s a drama, an action flick, or even an animated-film, I find meaning and can enjoy any type of movie
Yes, I love chick flicks, too. That’s right I love them. Of course, the appropriate term for the genre would be “romantic comedy,” so I will use that term instead.
I have not always enjoyed romantic comedies. Like most men, they used to make me extremely uncomfortable because I did not know how to express my feelings as I watched them. If ever I felt emotional, I’d repress the feelings and not allow myself to experience the appropriate emotion. Like too many men, I was unable to be that open and vulnerable, so I would deflect the emotion with some unconscious attempt to not appear too sensitive. My defense mechanism of choice was laughter. If ever became overwhelmed with sadness, I would crack a joke to deflect the feeling. If I were overcome with joy and happiness, I would simply fake-laugh to keep from feeling the true joy. Whenever I feel deep joy, I usually cry, which was a huge blow to my masculine ego, so I never allowed that to happen. Rather than expose myself to the possibility of being emotional, I avoided romantic movies like I avoid rectal exams.
But now things are different. As a result of my healing and inner work, I am able to experience movies at a deep emotional level. I am no longer trapped in the old masculine paradigm that would keep me from “feeling” the movie. I can now allow myself the freedom to simply experience whatever emotion I’m feeling. It amazes me how much of the movies I used to miss because I did not allow myself to feel and experience the movie. Now that I am open to all of my emotions, it simply makes the movie going experience more enjoyable.
When a man becomes courageous enough to move past the societal and cultural conditioning of what it means to be a man, he learns that his feelings are the language of his soul and he should not be afraid to express himself emotionally. If he is willing to do this, I can assure you that movies—along with everything else—will have more meaning. This is a man’s greatest challenge, to get in touch with his feelings and not be afraid to express them openly and honestly.
So if you happen to be one of those guys that’s afraid of watching chick flicks, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you uncomfortable expressing your emotions?
- Are you afraid that you might not be able to hold back the tears of sadness or joy?
- Are you so insecure in your masculinity that you simply refuse to even consider checking out a chick flick?
- Are you afraid of being called a punk, wimp, or sissy?
- Are you more concerned about what other people think versus what you truly feel?
Whatever your reason for avoiding chick flicks, just accept the fact that it does not make you less of a man by watching a movie. Know that real men are comfortable with their emotions and have no difficulty expressing them. They aren’t afraid of checking out a chick flick every now and then because it not only helps them get in touch with their emotions, it also helps them feel closer to their mates. Sharing your emotions with your partner during and after a romantic movie can bring you closer together and create a level of intimacy that can actually improve your sex life. I bet you didn’t know that, did you? Now you have a perfect excuse to go see a chick flick. So go for it. Take your mate to a chick flick. Just remember, it’s just a movie and sometimes big boys do cry.
Go ahead and ponder on this for a while and let me know what you think.
In the meantime, I’ve got a hot date with my wife to check out a chick flick. If I’m lucky, I might get that opportunity to accidentally let my hand touch her breast.
—Photo csessums / flickr