I seldom watch a film more than once, but I have seen this one literally dozens of times. It's definitely a chick flick, but guys will sit through it with me - once - on account of Cameron Diaz, although I identify more closely with her co-star, Kate Winslet. The story of two women - one English and one American - who exchange homes for Christmas, it always satisfies - at least temporarily - my unfulfilled longing for a deep and satisfying romantic relationship. Yes, it's corny. But like Kate Winslet's character, Iris says in the movie, "I'm looking for corny in my life."
Yesterday, as I watched Iris's pivotal scene, I had an epiphany. Here is the scene.
You don't have to watch the entire clip. Start at 6:25 and go to the end.
In case you skipped the video, I will repeat her words. She is speaking to an ex-lover she can't quite seem to get over, who just claimed he wants to keep her in his life even though he is engaged to marry someone else.
"You have never treated me right, ever. You broke my heart and you acted like somehow it was my fault, my misunderstanding. I was too in love with you to ever be mad at you so I just punished myself, for years...It's over. THIS TWISTED, TOXIC THING BETWEEN US IS FINALLY FINISHED. I'M MIRACULOUSLY DONE BEING IN LOVE WITH YOU. I HAVE A LIFE TO START LIVING. AND YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE IN IT."
Those words hit me right between the eyes. Maybe we can't choose whom we fall in love with, but we CAN choose whether or not to continue loving that person. Similarly, we can't choose who loves us in return; if a heart is unwilling, it cannot be forced open. These are laws, like gravity. To resist is useless. One might as well jump out of a plane without a parachute.
Finally, I am ready to cut my losses. It happened just that fast. I let go. I'm free falling. Trusting my chute to open. So I can get back to the business of living my life.