On New Year’s Eve, I watched “The Last Kiss”, which recently came out on DVD. The movie, which stars Zach Braff and Rachel Bilson is basically about life, the inevitable quarterlife crisis, and why relationships don’t survive.

In a nutshell – Zach Braff is a 29 year old architect, living with a girl who everyone thinks is perfect. He, at one point, found her perfect, too. He has made every excuse as to why they shouldn’t marry yet, citing the unhappiness and breakdown of every married couple they know…including their parents. She finds out they are having a baby – he meets 20 year old Rachel Bilson, a local college student. While he should be looking at life from an adult perspective, he embarks on an affair with her, in an effort to escape the predictability that settling eventually brings.

I won’t ruin the rest of the movie for you (after all, that’s enough plot for you to rent it…), but when it was done, I felt cynical and sort of depressed. I’m not the only person who felt this way after seeing this film. Everyone agrees that they enjoyed it, but they also feel it’s a reasonably accurate take on relationships and our perception of growing up and taking on responsibility.

Regardless…it was a bad choice for New Years Eve. While I was getting ready to go out and start 2007 with a fresh, optimistic outlook, I instead felt jaded and cynical. That this is reality. Maybe I am better off with the less realistic movies that paint a more positive (yet I repeat, unrealistic) portrait of life, love, and relationships.

Just the same, there was an amazing quote in the movie. When his girlfriend is talking to her mother, her mother comments “Life is pretty much in the grays. If you insist on black and white, you’re going to be unhappy.”

This is what I am trying this year – to stop insisting on black and white in life. I am making an effort to stop overanalyzing and looking for perfection, idealism, and sense in everything in my life. It seems the more you try to make everything fit a certain way, the less it actually does.
Maybe absolutes aren’t the key to happiness, after all. Or is that simply settling?