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By Ashlie McDiarmid

Movies versus real life

Movies are one of the biggest forms of entertainment. It doesn’t matter if the story is a romantic comedy, or a heroic protagonist caught in the struggle between good and evil-people will watch. While either of these stories make for a good movie, they usually lack realistic qualities that most people face in their day to day lives. Many movie situations may reflect a common thread to viewers, but should be taken with a grain of salt. However, many movies symbolically represent lessons of the real world that should not be overlooked.

Is conflict funny?

One of the most common threads between movies and reality is people not getting along. People fight all the time. Movies take conflict to a new and sometimes unrealistic level. In many movies, conflict is funny; brash, over-the-top actions and dialogue create and relieve tension at the same time. A perfect example is the movie The Breakup, starring Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. The movie is about a couple who, in the middle of a sour breakup, try to outdo each other in a series of ugly fights. The person who cracks first must move out, and lose the luxurious condo to the victor.

The movie escalates to comical proportions in fits of jealousy, awkward game nights and horrible pranks. However, it is hard to believe that this story could portray real life. It is unreasonable to think that any self-respecting person would put him or herself through that amount of drama for a condo. Conflict in movies is funny because it is safe; the viewer can place distance between the movie and reality because it isn’t real.

Distorted historical truths

Movies about fictional couples can be distorted and there is no harm in that, but what about the stories of true events and actual lives? Take the well-known movie Braveheart. William Wallace was a real person who fought for Scottish independence. He is played by Mel Gibson with a wonderful blend between romance, action and drama. It has everything-except accurate historical representation. One of the most pivotal characters is Princess Isabella of Wales. In the movie, she and Wallace have a love affair while she is married to Edward II, and she gives him information about the enemy. In reality, during the time that Wallace was fighting for Scotland, she was nine years old, living in France, and never married Edward. The placing of her in the movie is merely to create tension and thicken the plot.

The gift movies give

All of this should not discredit the value that movies have. Movies connect viewers with symbolism of real life and provide valuable life lessons. They provide laughter, heartbreak, struggle and victory. Just because these lessons are learned through the X- Men, Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring, or the infamous Harry Potter does not mean that they should be discredited. Do these movies reflect the reality of life? No, but they present something perhaps even more important. Their struggles resonate with the viewers, creating a bond that in many cases will never go diminish. Movies do not give people reality. Instead, they give something greater than the truth, hope and someone to root for.

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