I'd like to think of myself as an adult. Like, a "grown man" type of adult. Okay, okay, sure I can't figure out how to use a washing machine and, yeah, okay, I sometimes eat two bags of potato chips and call it a meal. Okay fine, yes I get most of my calories from beer but you know, I'm mature. Ma-tour.
And that adult-ness that I'd like to believe that I have was solidified after I watched the trailer for Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List. There's something about watching young upper class white people party in New York that makes my stomach hurt so much it feels like the only way to fix it is if I find an actual young upper class white person at a party and throw up on them.
The movie follows Naomi and Ely and the list they put together of people they probably won't kiss (it's all in the title really) but then Ely breaks the list or misunderstands the list and Naomi loses her boyfriend but finds a new boyfriend and then they, oh dear god, I don't know why I'm typing this.
Anyway, my problem with this movie is that it caters to a specific type of person. And I, personally, do not like that person. That person is young, has money, and dresses in such a fashion that makes it seem like they do not have money.
While the trailer wants you to believe that this is some weird, new-wave rom-com. It isn't. It's a reflection of what young people (me, probably, maybe) value over anything else. The cuts in the trailer are quick (instant gratification, as in, let me see this then this then this then this, keep moving please). The actors are dressed in an "edgy" way, yet the both walk into a giant building and exist within spaces that most people could not even afford to breathe in. The end of the trailer has a fake sort of honesty.
It's that kind of fake-honesty you have with someone before, during, and after a one-night stand. Don't look at me that way. You know exactly what I'm talking about. You meet a potential mate. You say the right things -- usually dumb, joke, dishonest things -- you purposely act in a way that will make the other person catch on to your vibe and maybe you'll catch on to their vibe as well. The whole thing here is that the understanding between you two is that you don't care about each other personally. The only honest emotion in the both of you is that you want to feel human heat. And you get up the next morning, and they're asleep. You look at them and realize you spent a night pretending you were in love instead of actually, well, you know, loving someone. That's what this movie is.
People will watch this movie and pretend that it means something to them, only because they had just spent 10-15 dollars on a ticket and they don't want to feel like they wasted money.
If you value the way the world perceives you, or going out, or having vapid and empty conversations. If you would rather spend most of your life looking for someone else when you can't even present yourself in a way that makes you feel confident, then maybe this is the right movie for you.
And if you do watch it, maybe you can explain it to me. Where is the appeal? What is so interesting about version of New York that only exists for upper class white folk? Am I supposed to forget who is paying for their apartments or their nights out or their drinks or their trendy clothes? Is that where the suspension-of-disbelief comes in? Where do I -- a, well, poor person-of-color -- fit in*?
Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List comes out on September 18th, 2015
*I don't. According to this film, I am not New York. White people are New York.