Small Screen Quarantine – Stardust (2007)

The fairy tale that won’t behave… That’s what it says on the promo poster for STARDUST. It’s easy enough to see that, in a way. It’s irreverent to some degree. The humor is very dark. There is violence, but not gratuitous. There is no shortage of sexual innuendo, and in this way it earned its PG-13 rating. It did in most ways, however, behave exactly as a fairy tale should. It made me want to believe in magic and fantasy, and above all, the magic of real love.

And happy endings.

It’s easy enough for me to present as jaded and cynical provided my audience doesn’t pause long enough to get to know me. The truth is though that I very much believe in love and my heart is as done in by happy endings as that of a tween sitting in their bedroom with a box of colored pencils, sketching unicorns and happy clouds.

I’ve said it before, my sentimentality and vulnerability are my superpowers. Opening myself to love and the possibility of not-so-happy endings made me bulletproof. I stand by that.

Stardust is really quite a lovely movie with the fantasy land where everything is possible, the unicorn, they flying ship, the witches, the white magic, the black magic, the princess and the royalty in exile. You’ve got a fallen star, a legacy to a kingdom, murder, treachery, Michelle Pfeiffer as an ugly hag, and Robert Deniro as a gay pirate. And a very happy ending…

And I cried at the end. It wasn’t a bawling, ugly cry. It was just a smiling, misty cry. Maybe a tear or two made it to my cheeks. Maybe.

It’s not the film I thought I’d be writing about this morning. Small Screen Quarantine has been a space for much darker fare and assorted, sordid commentary on the state of mankind. It’s been android warfare, zombie apocalypse and the downfall of civilization. It’s been about the struggle to remain human. I’ve thoroughly ignored (until now) any story that involved people for whom staying human was never a struggle, the humans that just are who they are. Now, there is nothing deep about Stardust in and of itself. It just reminded me that sometimes we, or I, need to believe in magic. I need to remember how love feels when it’s weightless and effortless, because it is/can be.

I’m avoiding the temptation here to get too personal and delve deeply into my experiences with love over the last year and through semi-quarantine. They don’t really matter, or they do, but it’s not important right now. Those experiences have left me with moments of bitterness, certainly, but there is something to what the magical people in my own life have taught me. Let it go and focus on the gratitude for having been in some good places no matter where you stand now.

This is a beautiful little film. Stardust, that is, not my life.

Today I am grateful for a heart that is breakable, and mendable.

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