I’m so glad I finally got to see this movie. From the start, I knew this was a movie that I would love, and tonight I was proven right. No one would call this movie “entertaining”, but it was as thought provoking as a movie can be. It definitely calls into question the so-called middle-class American Dream, the cookie-cutter suburban fantasy that came out of the 50’s and still persists today. Yet more than the movies of that disparage that same era of full skirts, prim curls, and equally flawless lawns, this movie really nailed the horror of this deceptionally beautiful ideal and brought it very close to home. If you strip away the time and modify the clothes a little, I can see the faces of Frank and April being replaced by many people I know; frightening, yet true.
Cookie-cutter ideologies are so attractive because they offer the comfort of comformity. But lurking behind that “everything is just going to be peachy” facade, is the stifflying of individual dreams and passions – the definitions of our characters, and the essence of living. Of course it’s easy to say “never let go of your dreams,” and “always stay true to yourself,” but even now, I can sense and see how those dreams may defer to what we call reality. We see this when our peers take classes they have no interests in (let’s be honest, how many people are genuinely interested in the material taught in that infamous course whose title rhymes with ‘lock’?), but do so anyway to pad their gpa. It begins with trading interests for GPA, challenge for security, passion for money, where does it stop? Maybe it begins with a necessity, real or perceived, and then somewhere down the road, we begin to fabricate what we “have to do” and what is “realistic.” The day we begin to dismiss our dreams as fantasies is the day we have given up to resignation.
I hope that day will never come for me and my friends. We are more than that, and our dreams deserve every opportunity we can find.