Entry #11: Love, Religion and Experience

My next traditional feature film is going to be a romantic comedy. It will have the signature Jason Michael Brescia taste, but it’s going to be a romantic comedy. I’ve known that since I began The Newest Pledge. Some directors make romantic comedies because they have no choice, I actually want to make one. I want to make one because I have something to say about romance, about love, and whether or not it exists.

My heart hasn’t skipped a beat over a girl since I was in the 11th grade, not because of my now diminished ventricular tachycardia, but because adulthood, the life experience one gains from 16 to 25, and religion have made it difficult on me to let myself fall into love. You could call it cynicism, but it’s probably closer to neurosis, or even media induced perfectionism as I hinted at in Entry #1. But the fact remains, while I have uttered the words “I love you,” to my knowledge, I’ve probably never meant it.

I know I’ve never truly loved because I’ve never experienced it the way that 1 Corinthians describes it. We all know that passage, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud… it is not easily angered… It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.”

Yeah, if love was the opposite of that then I could say I’ve experienced love, or even witnessed it. But I never have.

What I’ve seen and experienced of “love” is a lot of defeat. People once full of life, now content to stay in, watch movies, gain weight, argue, and become shells of who they were because society has taught us what couples should do, how they should act, what they should say, and how they should feel.

I’ve asked myself countless times, “why don’t I feel what I’m supposed to feel?” But all I’ve ever felt was comfortable.

Love is fear. That sounds horrible, but it’s definitely part of it. Naturally, we want to have sex and that’s because as a species we need to have intercourse to reproduce. We’re also a societal species. We enjoy the company of other human beings, and as a species we do not enjoy being alone, in fact, being alone is a common psychological fear. At some point as a society we decided to combat that fear of being alone with our natural instinct to reproduce, and we called it love.

That sounds horrible, but in earlier societies, the people were having their children and getting married at ages where I felt those butterflies. 16, 17, 18. But our society has transformed. As a species we got smarter. I’m too smart to get butterflies. Or I’m too much of a perfectionist to get those butterflies. Or more likely than not, I’m too brainwashed by the romanticism I’ve ingested since my programming years.

Comfort. That’s what we seek as a society. Comfort. If you boil it down, if you really look at it, we all just want to be comfortable. That’s how I see it now.

And that’s how my characters will be programmed. That will be their motivation, their instincts, their ultimate reward: Comfort.

Because the sex will last five to ten minutes depending on position, or ninety seconds tops if both sober and unprotected. The butterflies, if still there, will eventually turn into dead moths that make your lamp slightly dimmer than it will eventually become when you discover their existence. The fear will subside and they’ll be left comfortable.

Most of us aren’t great enough to love according to 1 Corinthians. We just want someone around who we can also have intercourse with.

My characters will have a relationship founded on a lot of discussion. They’ll be forced into deep conversation more. They’ll attempt to know each other more. But as anyone who has ever been in a long distance relationship can agree: the only reason you put up with it is for the potential sex and company. These are our instincts. Too often our beloved characters defy who we are.

Mine won’t.

And then it’ll turn into a Jason Michael Brescia movie when someone shows up shirtless, Sean Tsaconas plays the role of an oddball, and an obscure reference to something that happened in sports is mentioned. And then there will probably be more shirtless dudes, because for some reason I find shirtless men to be incredibly humorous.

Jason Michael Brescia

March 2, 2011 5:01 A.M EST

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About jasonmichaelbrescia

Filmmaker. Writer, director. Comedy.
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