Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mona Lisa Smile

Last night was Julia Roberts’ night on HBO. One of my favorite movies of hers was on when I tuned in – Mona Lisa Smile.


I loved this movie the first time I saw it, and I still watched it from beginning to end last night. As soon as I could, I searched my blog archives for the post I was sure I published about the movie. There was none to be found. A quick google search didn’t show me anything either! I tweaked my search terms and there it was! I was still on tBlog when I saw the movie in 2004. What do you know. The movie is 7 years old. And I still love it.

Here is the full text from my tblog post from seven years ago :

nice movie, really. :) i actually liked it, i cursed at our VCD player sooo many times cause it was acting up while my big brother and i was watching the movie. i'll probably watch it again at the cinema. heard it's scheduled to open on the 4th of february. gotta convince boyfriend to go watch it with me. or maybe joy would be interested.
mona lisa smile was featured on one of the cable networks earlier this evening and i saw part of julia roberts' interview while i was channel surfing. she said that the movie's about the philosophy of contentment and success. how it's different for every person. i wish i heard what else she said...
anyway, i agree. the movie was as much about contentment and success as a construct as it was about women's lib and conformity. i remember having been in a similar discussion with friends before. someone mentioned that she didn't want to end up "just" a housewife. and someone commented on the term "just" or "lang." homemaking is indeed a career choice. as in any other occupation or career, it's something that any woman can and may choose to pursue. my generation of young women grew up with mothers who have chosen a career outside the home. still there are those who stayed at home to care for their children and mind their household. our grandmothers are more of the homemakers type. perhaps they weren't given the same choices our mothers had. but even if they were given the chance, would they have chosen to leave home? ah, those were different times.
Joanne, Julia Stiles' character, apparently chose to get married and stay at home rather than pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer. but that was her choice. she was given every chance to choose another path, but she chose that particular one. and she was happy with it. content. the poster girl for women's lib shouldn't be the successful career woman. she should be the educated, smart and successful homemaker.
women's lib. it's about women being respected enough to be trusted to make decisions for themselves and the people around them. it's about being on an equal status with men. of equal opportunities. women may make wrong decisions, but at least they chose it themselves. others did not choose for them.
success and contentment are different for every person. it's a factor that contributes to how people make a choice. if success was being praised for being such a good lawyer, then Joanne made the wrong choice. but if it was about raising a family and being with someone (you're better half) then she had made the right choice.
conformity. we can choose to be like the others, or we can choose to break free. as their farewell gift, the students left Ms. Watson their own Paint-by-numbers version of Van Gogh's work. instead of "conforming" to the assigned shades to each number, the students gave it their own interpretations. their own colors and shades. some people may appear to conform, but another glance would show that they are not. a deeper view would tell us that the person is also a rebel in his or her own way.
am i a conformist? i'd like to think not. but perhaps too, in a way, i am.
ami i content? i used to think so. but now i am not so sure. for there is something else that i am aspiring for. higher pay is not the least of them :lol: but kidding aside, with happiness come contentment, i think. happiness and contentment sometimes come with success, but sometimes they don't. with real success comes both. guaranteed. but what is real success? it's a construct. to be defined by each individual being for his/herself. my success can only be measured by me. as your success can only be measured by you. not by the thickness of your pocketbook nor the vastness of your wealth.
ahh rambling. i am rambling. sometimes i don't make sense. or maybe i try to make too much sense that i lose the essence of my thoughts. perhaps if i edit myself less, i'd make more sense. ahh. :roll:

Things aren’t always as they seem. That’s something  else I picked up last night.

Things aren’t always as they seem.