Life Lessons from Blue Jasmine.

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Blue Jasmine is Woody Allen’s newest film.  When I’m feeling less than stellar, I curl up on my sofa to watch Midnight In Paris, another Allen film. I love the characters in the movie because they have these moments of genuine sweetness even when they are being sneaky and underhanded.

Except Inez.

Inez is a shallow, greedy, oblivious viper.  The first time I saw the movie, the following question kept looping in my brain: how do people like Inez find and keep love? After the umpteenth viewing, I figured it out.  People are fucking idiots.

And Jasmine is the future Inez.  Jasmine French, a  New York socialite whose cosseted  life unravels when her husband’s financial empire turns out to be a sham (think Bernie Madoff), is the kind of person who is broke but not broke enough to not fly first class. Watching Jasmine’s past and present is a horror movie, but with sumptuous, gorgeous accessories.  Her Birkin (I could smell its buttery leather from the screen) almost makes you forget how damaged she remains from living such an oblivious existence.  She didn’t take anything from the disaster that is her life, but I did.  Here goes….

Try mixing up some introspection with the self-absorption. It’s not mandatory but being curious enough to ask why you make the decisions you do.  It’s not lost on me that I’m writing this on the #1 self-absorption platform in the world and won’t let that stop me!  As Jasmine lurches from choice to choice, she doesn’t stop to question where she was, where she is or where she’s going.  There’s no moment of clarity for her; just moments of desperation, anger and confusion.

Some people aren’t meant to be well-rounded, empathetic individuals.  My check list for allowing someone to become an acquaintance is not long but I do adhere to it — they must show self-care on a regular basis.  My rationale is if they can care for themselves, then there is hope that they have the capability to care for others.  My check list for allowing someone into my life beyond acquaintance requires they offer more, be more, they have to be a slab of cake. Empathetic, sincere, humane, willingness to be open, a willingness to be loved. CAKE!  Jasmine is not ever going to be cake.  She doesn’t even know where to begin.  Her emotional devastation has given her zero insight — she’s still judgmental, class-obsessed and selfish.  And I do feel sorry for her but wouldn’t want to be around her or anyone like her.

Saying thank you will save your life. Showing genuine gratitude does make a difference in  how we see the world and ourselves. It pulls our heads out of our asses to feel and express kindness. It helps us to know empathy. Jasmine’s nervous breakdown magnifies her inability to know or express gratitude.  She believes that everyone is her co-star and doesn’t stop to consider anyone else’s existence. She’s not here for empathy and she pays the price for her obliviousness.

The Peter Sarsgaard character is the kind of man I want to date. Smart, aware, sexy, thoughtful, deploys his inner asshole with discretion. Shifting my choices so I can meet him.

Dear readers, have you seen Blue Jasmine? If so, please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Pic via.

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