I made the mistake of watching "Up in the Air" again. I saw it for the first time when it was in theaters with my friend Spencer. We were escaping out families around Thanksgiving, I believe. He and I were both speechless at the end of it. I mean, what can you say? It's about our supposed realities that we create for ourselves based on delusions of our future.
Anna Kendrick's character, Natalie, is a foil to the selfish, conceited, condescending Ryan, played by George Clooney. Natalie is young, naive, indignant and Ryan has to show her the ropes and generally all the flaws in her way of thinking. That idea, of course, is that life is empty, meaningless, and weighing us down. He thinks it's revolutionary, Natalie thinks he's lonely and a pathetic shell of a human being. His love interest, a woman named Alex (played by Vera Famiga) seems to share his philosophy and love for travel or as she puts it so curtly they are "turned on by elite status."
Ryan and Alex make a point to see each other and fuck on their respective business trips. It's supposed to be a purely physical, maybe intellectual relationship - she seems to be the only person to understand his bubble. So, as movies go, their relationship deepens, or seems to. This is the part that I love because movies are always made about stupid women falling for jerks. But in this movie, he is the stupid one and ends up getting his heart crushed. I know on some level it's probably wrong for me to feel good about this, but this movie is about that guy who refuses to acknowledge anything beyond his glamorous career, and for once, there's not a fairytale ending. He doesn't see the light and she doesn't decided to be with him, they move on and I would assume are more careful in communicating their wishes with other lovers in the future.
It was already in the DVD player when I watched it again. My roommate recently got Netflix, I probably wouldn't have watched it again - not because it's not a good movie, it's a great movie, but because it makes me feel restless. All the feeling that I have right now are the exact same that I had the first time. And their very familiar. Their the ones that I get whenever I get too comfortable. This is a trait I inherited from my father and am drawn to in others. It's terrible. Wherever I am, I feel like I'm missing out on something else. If I'm in Richmond I want to be in DC, if I'm in DC I want to be in Baltimore, or Annapolis or New York or fucking Kinston, North Carolina. And if I'm in Kinston, I usually end up feeling terribly depressed and want to be in DC.
I have never lived in DC-proper, but I can honestly say that it will always be home base. One day, when I travel and have elite status at various hotels and frequent flyer miles I will also have an apartment in DC and will stay in it when I get tired of being elsewhere. And I probably won't go out while I'm there, unlike my current over-socialized trips to DC, I imagine that at the point in my life when I can have this, I won't go out much at all.
Until then I will continue to pretend.