Recipient of the Clyde D. Lowery Award for Professionalism and Integrity in Journalism, Laura Donovan is a former opinions editor, columnist, and news reporter for the Arizona Daily Wildcat college news publication. Laura is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a bachelor of arts degree in creative writing. Donovan can be reached at laura *dot* donovanth *at* gmail *dot* com.
Posted in Uncategorized on June 18, 2013
A couple of weeks ago, I flew to my hometown in northern California to see relatives and briefly catch up with childhood friends. One night, I went to a bar with Crystal, Lauren, and Lauren’s new boyfriend, Andrew, and her dad showed up to say hi for a bit as well. Though we didn’t chat for very long, the first thing her father said to me was this: “So what is the most offensive story you’ve written lately?”
Laughing, I continued to ice my right arm, which was badly sunburned from a beach trip earlier that day. I thought about his question for a moment but knew right away that I didn’t have an answer.
“Honestly, Jeff, I can’t say I’ve gotten anyone riled up in a while. I really can’t remember the last time I infuriated somebody.”
“You must be playing it safe, then,” he replied, winking.
I’m not sure how I feel about that sort of response. If I’m not outraging an entire group of people, I’m meek and milquetoast. If I’m causing someone’s blood to boil, I’m basically Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck. But you know what? I’m actually OK with staying out of trouble, unless I have to stir the pot to further a message that means a lot to me. Two years ago, I was quicker to chase chaos, and I paid for it.
Almost two years ago to the date, I got into my first (and last, at least for the time being) major media feud. Fresh out of college and just seven months into my job, I was green and unnecessarily confident. I didn’t show it like some of the older, more seasoned people at my office, and a few of them actually encouraged me to own my work and take pride in my achievements.
“You need to be more assertive,” one of them told me. “I know you’re only 22, but you’re going to be huge someday. I just know it. So act it.”
I tried my best. I wrote constantly, worked long hours, did more writing when I got home from work even though I had a 5:30 a.m. shift and was absolutely drained by 6 o’ clock each night, and indulged my tireless spirit. Of course, when you lead a go-go-go lifestyle, you’re bound to fumble at some point.
And I didn’t just fumble. I ate sh*t on the pavement and broke several bones, all while trying to drown out the evil clown laughter from onlookers and admit I was responsible for the fall. I was overworking myself and getting sloppy, and a huge public figure was upset and made to look bad as a result of my carelessness.
Though I assumed he would brush it off once I fixed my article, which we edited right after publishing, he saw the irony in the situation and ran with it, as someone in a ratings-driven industry is expected to do. I’d called him out on remarks he made in his sarcastic segment, so he decided to put me on his show that evening. Most people are excited about being mentioned on TV for the first time ever, but this wasn’t how I pictured my first television appearance playing out, especially since he was simply talking about me and I wasn’t even there to defend myself.
The day my story went viral, I sobbed in the middle of the newsroom, only getting up to leave when two female interns insisted I finish my weeping session at a coffee shop down the block. I refused, but Nikki, an intern who became one of my best friends, forced me to pull it together and head outside.
“Laura, listen to me right now,” she whispered in my ear. “You’re not going to do this in the middle of work. I know you’re upset, but you cannot, I repeat, cannot, cry in front of everyone. Now let’s grab coffee.”
Clinging to each of my arms, Katie and Nikki dragged me down to K Street, where they stared into my eyes as I ranted about a myriad of things. About myself. About A-Coop. About letting my exhaustion get to me. About being unfit for the east coast and disappointing lots of people.
“My career is over,” I declared. “I’m never going to be able to get another job again.”
“Laura, you’ve committed your life to writing. This has been your whole life since childhood. Don’t let one slip-up define you,” Nikki said, rubbing my shoulder. “By the way, your eyes are so gorgeous when you cry. They shimmer. You should do this more often and you’ll get a ton of dates.”
I giggled, wiping my face before reentering the room, which was dead silent. I had a thing for one of my coworkers, who was covering an event that day, so I was kind of bummed that he wasn’t around. I sighed, wishing he could be there for me and not the others in his place, many of which just didn’t have anything to say to me. I couldn’t blame them, though. I’d diminished their credibility by giving our publication a bad name, and though I would be the one to go down in history as the fool and not necessarily them or the brand, we couldn’t know for sure how it would end.
For the rest of the day, I stayed off Twitter, as I was receiving dozens of hateful comments and tweets by the second. I only responded to about 10% of the tweets through my phone, but none of the comments in my article comments section. It took me a while to go back and see just what everyone had said, and some of the things they wrote were:
I register just to tell Laura Donovan that sorry your career is basically over, I’ll be surprise you will still be posting for the Daily Caller from here on. I’m on this site daily but now I think I will reconsider visiting the site, please manage your writer. Especially Ms. Laura Donovan.
Laura, sorry to say but you need to look at another profession, really, I mean it. This was a hatchet job by a moron, yes look in the mirror, that means you. I am sure you feel badly now, but you lack any sense of professionalism and no one in their right mind, even a 10 year old, would not have known what was going on, except you. Rethink your career choice, this is definately not for you.
But I don’t think Ms. Donovan needs to worry about the future of her career. She’s attractive enough to appear on any number of the Fox News shows as a “Republican strategist.” Such gigs don’t require actual knowledge or the ability to discern satire.
I’m going to go ahead and ignore the dripping sexism in that last comment to highlight the fact that these folks were convinced I’d be blacklisted forever because of one botched story at the beginning of my career. Sure I was convinced of the same thing, but that’s because I never stop worrying. My boss was completely understanding and stood by me, even though we both admitted I’d made a mistake. These people, however, didn’t want me to get a second chance, and luckily for me, they were totally off about my future. It hasn’t been perfect, but I’ve learned that I don’t need to dwell on bad moves forever. I know to do better next time, and luckily, the anchor and I walked out of this without any animosity or rivalry.
That night alone, I deleted more than 60 emails without even reading them, ignored my Twitter feed, and sobbed into the phone with anyone who would talk to me.
The first person to check in was my coworker Kells, who recited the segment to me as it aired because I didn’t have a TV. Then I got a call from the guy I liked, who assured me that my little dispute with a big shot anchor was a good thing.
“This means you’ve made it, Laura. Be happy,” he said.
“How can I be happy about this when the whole internet is mad at me?”
“I’m not mad at you,” he said. “You’re doing great.”
Shortly afterward, I talked to my mom, who shared the same sentiment as my friend. The little scandal might turn out to be helpful after all, and I’d be joking about it in no time.
I certainly wasn’t laughing that night. Having woken up to my screaming and crying, my then-roommate Anna walked into my room with a mug of Nestle hot chocolate and rubbed my head, encouraging me to hang in there and remember that everything blows over, even public spats with celebrities.
There was a lot of criticism (some of it warranted) of me during this time, but one blog post that particularly upset me was written by a creeper who framed the story as if A-Coop had stripped me down and then beaten me to a pulp. You decide for yourself whether this is a normal way of describing how it all happened:
Cooper flipped Daily Caller writer Laura Donovan onto her head and used her as a broom Thursday night. Apparently Donovan posted a story (which has since been edited) to the DC mischaracterizing something Cooper had said about that 16-year-old who married that 51-year-old.
Cooper smacked Donovan around, dressed her down, didn’t like it, dressed her back up, bopped her, pulled her, and twisted her for bad journalism. Watch the video.
Here’s what I have to say to this foul, perverse blogger, who, like a coward, didn’t even attribute his/her own name to the post titled “Cooper elbow drops Daily Caller writer”: I didn’t respond to this sludge two years ago because I felt my safety would be at stake engaging with someone like you, but now I realize you were just an ordinary internet user hiding behind your computer, nameless, faceless, and sad.
Before writing about me in a sexually and physically violent way, maybe you should have educated yourself on the statistics and facts on violence against women and realized just how unfunny your asinine attempt at humor would be. Your metaphor crossed the line and went beyond the bounds of civil discourse. So if you ever write about me in such a way again, I won’t hesitate to report you, because your sinister, aggressive, violating tone is not something I deserve to have directed at me, even if I dare spar with one of your celebrity idols.
That aside, I thought all the drama would fizzle by the following day, and while I got fewer hurtful tweets then, I also received fewer frantic phone calls and texts from concerned friends. Noticeably absent was the guy I liked, who admitted he’d chosen not to watch the segment but ignored my text messages. We’d established that there was an attraction, but maybe it just wasn’t enough. The silence stung, not just because I’d been blasted on TV that week, but because I was worried he’d stopped returning the sentiment.
At 8:30 on Saturday night, I shot him a text about going out for drinks. He invited me to meet up with him and his friends in Adams Morgan, and in the scorching summer heat, I stormed the city, hoping to finally take my brain off work for an evening. We laughed about the situation for a few minutes before moving on to another topic, but I immediately sensed something was off. He wasn’t looking me in the eye, and it seemed like he was going out of his way to stay out of my bubble. On a cab ride to another bar, he’d flinched when I accidentally bumped into him in the backseat. Clearly that hadn’t been a come on or advance from me, yet he was sending a message that nothing was going to happen between us. A part of me wanted to laugh that this person who’d liked me just a week earlier now squirmed at my accidental touch, but for the millionth time that week, I understood the right moment for laughing would present itself later.
When we said goodbye at the metro stop at around 11:50 p.m., I broached the subject, only for my suspicions to be confirmed. I’d been charmed by this young individual, and the feeling was mutual. That was the worst part of it all: I knew I liked him the second we met, yet it could never be more than a crush.
“We’re coworkers, Laura. Let’s not forget that.”
“That’s not the real reason,” I said, swallowing to rid myself of the lump forming in my throat. “You just don’t like me enough. Dating coworkers isn’t a big deal at our office. No one cares.”
I was only hurting myself by firing accusations his way and trying to talk him into considering me, but he handled my intense, defensive response with ease, claiming he really did think I was special but that the colleague thing was too much given his place in life.
“I just moved here, ya know. But I don’t date coworkers. That’s my rule.”
“Well who said I would date you anyway? We’re not dating,” I spat, immediately regretting my words. I hadn’t meant it at all, and I still have no idea where my remarks came from, but once they were out there, I knew there was no redeeming myself. “OK, sorry. I don’t mean that. I just … have to go home. Night.”
Descending the metro steps, I tried to find that lump in my throat, but it was gone. I couldn’t cry, as much as I wanted to. The moment to weep had passed, and all I could do was laugh about the turn of events that had taken place over the past 72 hours. My whole life changed on Thursday, and at midnight on Saturday, I’d been rejected. The three-day period was comically bad and horrendous, and I just had to find humor in it so as not to totally shut down.
After texting Nikki and Crystal about the situation, I sent him a text as well, clarifying that I hadn’t really meant that I’d never date him. I’d be lucky to see him romantically, I stated, and would be patient and respectful of his wishes. The message was well-received, and he said it was a shame we worked together because I was “really cool beans.” I LOL’d for the first time in days before managing to nod off on the train, which took me back to northern Virginia and away from the disaster I’d created in D.C.
Two years have gone by, and for the most part, I haven’t ruffled any feathers since. I’m not afraid to do so now, but if I’m going to fight, it’s going to be over something I’m passionate about, not a mistake I have no choice but to live with and own up to. I’ve done a lot of great things and written many pieces of which I’m proud, and I know there will be many, many more happy moments than dramatic, shameful ones. I’m starting to see that the tough experiences don’t have to cast a dark shadow over everything I love either, and that’s the best realization I’ve had in the aftermath of all this.
Also, I’m not going anywhere, so you better get used to me, scandals or not.
Posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013
I spend way too much time asking questions. That’s part of my job description, but the things I’ve recently been wondering about around exactly high brow. That doesn’t diminish their validity, however, and as my Kindergarten teacher once said, “there’s no such thing as a stupid question,” so here’s what’s been on my mind the past few days.
1. Why does Chipotle employ a security guard by the security machine?
Like seriously, guys. Are you really going to go out of business because some teenager filled his water cup with Diet Coke? Get the authorities out on the streets, where the real trouble is taking place.
2. Why are there so many different commercials on TV?
I love the John Stamos ones, as he basically doesn’t age or have any physical flaws, but Yoplait ads are another story. “I want to meet the cow that made this“? Really? Because I want to meet the guy who thought it’d be a good idea to have an actor sing that in a creepy voice. And put him in my Creeper Blog.
3. Why I’m always bombarded with g-chats or requests at the same exact time during the work day.
Trust me, you don’t want me to explain further.
5. How the Bling Ring broke into all those celebrity houses.
Posted in Uncategorized on June 12, 2013
Every year, I care less and less about my birthday (especially since I’m not crazy about aging … or turning 25 in July), but I’m actually pretty stoked about my next one, as it’s the perfect excuse for someone to get me an Ostrich Pillow:
With the exception of childhood, I’ve never been someone who gets excited about birthday presents, but this is the best thing a person could give me for my 25th, which is at the end of next month. It’s perfect for the airport and, as my friend Katie pointed out, grocery stores. I’m like a 5-year-old in that I can fall asleep (and vividly dream) anywhere, and this would only enhance that experience for me.
So, if you adore me, you’ll get me one of these for my birthday. Don’t send money or take me out for drinks: look into Ostrich Pillows.
This will be me in a month, I hope!
These people have it all!
Posted in Uncategorized on June 6, 2013
I did something unusual today. I slept until 8:30 (OK, I had a doctor’s appointment at 9:30 and was permitted to skip the first half of the work day). Waking up refreshed for the first time in weeks, I jumped into the shower and felt so excited to welcome Hump Day. There was a lot to do (take out the trash and recycling bag, make my bed, dress myself, eat breakfast, throw on some eye makeup), but rather than pack it all in, ruin the pleasant start to the day, and be late for my visit, I decided not to apply any makeup. And it.felt.awesome.
Women are under a lot of pressure to look their best at work, and if you’re anything like me, some say you look tired and sleep-deprived when you don’t cake your face in beauty products. I may have appeared exhausted with no mascara or eye liner, but let me tell you: I wasn’t, and you want to know why? Because the fifteen minutes I would have used to put on makeup was spent resting in bed. Why don’t we all treat ourselves to 15-20 extra minutes of sleep at least once a week? Lord knows we need it, especially those of us on the fast track to burnout (afraid I’m in this rocky boat, but as I always say, that’s a post for another day!).
This actually reminds me of Dove’s viral Real Beauty campaign. Sure it was ripped apart by many for possibly sending the message that females are to blame for judging themselves too harshly, but I really liked the video, which still tells us that we’re much more beautiful than we give ourselves credit for. I’ll take it.
So, in light of my decision to just be lazy and not care today, I’m starting a movement (membership: one, ME!) called #NoMakeupWednesday, and on Hump Day of every week, I’ll let my skin breathe by keeping beauty products of all kind off my face. So far, I’ve received a decent amount of support, and by decent amount of support, I mean four <3's and 2 nice comments on Instagram (hey, I have to start somewhere!). #NoMakeupWednesday is a 24-hour event, so even if I have special plans for the evening, the rule still stands that I cannot wear makeup. Given the summer heat, I probably shouldn’t wear makeup everyday, as I just end up sweating it all off. Why bother?
I hate the whole selfie movement more than ANYTHING, but given this mission to prioritize my health over my vanity (at least on Wednesdays…), here’s my first makeup-free selfie. What do you know, I don’t actually look washed out or unsightly:
I’ll try to post one every Wednesday, and please feel free to send me your own if you’d like to be featured on my blog.
It’s my favorite time of year: summer. After a brutal, wet winter of ugly jackets, shredded pantyhose, and clothing overload, I’ve never been happier to welcome the humidity. When I’m not fanning myself by hand to stay cool on the subway platform or basking in the seasonal sunshine, I’ll be reading books. Here are two light, fluffy ones on my bookshelf right now:
“Revenge Wears Prada” by Lauren Weisberger:
Just got this one today, cannot wait to start even though the reviews have been nothing short of horrendous so far. Still, it’s been like ten years since the first book’s release. I’ve been dying of anticipation ever since I finished that one, even though the movie turned out to be better than the novel.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
OK, confession: I’m almost done with this book, but apparently there’s a twist ending, so I can’t really say with certainty whether I totally love it. So far, I’m a huge fan and the writing is awesome (not too surprising given that the author wrote for “Arrested Development”), but I am itching to know what happened to Bernadette at this point. Definitely pick this one up if you have a chance.
Any more recommendations you want to send my way? I’ll admit I never finished J.K. Rowling’s new book … it was just too sad. I still need to revisit the latest John Irving novel, which has been collecting more than just dust in my room, if you know what I mean. That reminds me: I need to vacuum and sweep this place STAT. I found a centipede a couple of weeks ago and seem to have been bitten by one. I’m not grown up enough to battle poisonous, ugly bugs. Where is a strong, fearless insect-killing man when I need one?! Better yet, where is the exterminator that’s supposed to sterilize each apartment unit every month?
There I go again … Anyway, send your favorite book titles my way!
As my roommate Jen would say, “It’s been real, but it hasn’t been real fun.” At the beginning of May, I joined a dating site in wake of a really annoying, unnecessary conflict with someone who decided to mess with my head for kicks before returning to his cushy life totally unscathed.
I’ve made a couple of friends (read: FRIENDS) since then, but discontinuing my membership, as I’ve gotten significantly lamer over the past few weeks and really need to catch up on my Netflix shows on my rare free weeknights. I don’t have the time or energy to meet even just one new person per week, and I think I’d rather just take my chances and be by myself for another six years than click through the site’s recommendations, none of which seem all that intriguing.
Also, it’s more than a little weird to receive messages like these from complete strangers:
hey how about we take an impromptu trip to Atlantic City this friday for a weekend of partying, gambling, and chilling! I got a room booked already in trump taj mahal. Busses board from port authority..what happens in AC stays in Ac
bonus points for being a self-proclaimed nerd.
I would skip all the messaging formalities and ask you to grab a drink and play ping pong at Fat Cat, but the internet can be a dangerous and murky place. I have carefully devised a series of vetting questions to ensure my safety:
1. Gangnam Style or Harlem Shake?
3. Do you eat fries with ketchup?
Those aren’t that odd, but I just don’t really have the desire to connect this way anymore. I always prefer in-person contact, and this is why I hate g-chat so much: to me, virtual communication just isn’t an adequate substitute for personal engagement. Internet chats were great for me at age 12, when no one aside from my small group of friends would come near me with a ten foot pole (I had way too many boyfriends on Harry Potter chatrooms back in the day, but that is most definitely a story for another blog post…). Now I just don’t see the point, especially since there’s no guarantee I’ll see any positive results, and, since moving to NYC, I’ve crossed over to the dark side and become “results driven.” No other way to be in this town, really.
From my limited experience, I’ve learned people act the same online as they do IRL. You see them once or twice, have a great time, and then they disappear like Amy in “Gone Girl,” never to be heard from again (all right, not to spoil the book for you, but Amy does re-surface in the disappointing novel. Get over it, literary junkies). I don’t have time for that with people I meet in person, so I certainly can’t be bothered to deal with that on a site I join under the expectation of success, and free drinks do not count.
More than anything, I only enjoy going out a couple of days a week, when I’m not exercising, watching an improv show, at improv class, or doing yoga, and I always enjoy myself with friends. I just have to keep doing that, but in the mean time, I’m disabling my account, which I just don’t have any use for given my schedule and admittedly low level of patience.
In other words, this is me now:
Now if only I could match Grumpy Cat’s net worth too…
I’m returning to NYC tonight…looking like a lobster. My entire body is sunburned, and the patches of bright red skin bring me back to my childhood days of sunburns and summer adventures gone awry.
The other day, I took my nephews to the beach. It was only 70 degrees outside, but because I’d failed to apply sunblock to myself (I’d been too busy smearing their faces with sunscreen, much to their chagrin), I got roasted. By the end of the day, I was in so much pain, I had to order a glass of water at the bar just to soothe my arms with ice cubes. Something similar happened after a Boardwalk trip during the summer of 1999. When my parents picked me up, I was licking my hand like a cat because the red hot burn was so intense. I slept in wet towels that night, but luckily I didn’t need to resort to that on this trip. My days of dangerous sunburns are mostly over…now I simply wait and see whether I’m doomed health-wise.
The truth is, I don’t get sun burned on the east coast. The skies are so polluted and the air is so humid that I can never feel the sun, even in 90 degree weather, so I embrace it as much as possible when I go to dry climates like Tucson, Arizona and Santa Cruz, California. Unfortunately, the feeling just isn’t mutual, and the sun will sooner destroy me than improve my life. I will say, however, I’d rather be covered in sunburns and feel the warmth of the strong, most brilliant star in the sky than live in a cold, dark place for the rest of my life. I owe my sanity and happiness to sunlight, and though I have a 90 percent chance of acquiring skin cancer because of the countless disastrous burns I’ve gotten throughout my life as a pale, freckled, sadsack redhead, the sun means the world to me, and I wouldn’t trade my youth in perpetual sunshine for anything.
That said, I’m not looking forward to the jokes people will make after seeing my red back and face. Oh well. I’m a ginger, so clearly I can take the heat. I’ve been doing it my whole life.
Yesterday was particularly relaxing, and those of you who know me are aware that I don’t really understand what it’s like to let go and just breathe. I was able to do this at Burke Williams spa, where I got a pedicure and hung out in a hot tub (which stung my burns, ow!). At the end of my pedicure, the lady tried to lead me back into the spa waiting room, but I just kind of wandered aimlessly and picked up another cup of lemonade, leading her to say I was finally fully relaxed and at peace. She’s worked with me a few times before, so she knows my anxious tendencies all too well. She gave me back my tube of lavender Essie nail polish, but I was so calm that I left it in my bathrobe. I didn’t even think to check my cell phone until my mom and I got back on Santana Row, and usually I look at it the second we leave the spa. I finally got out of my head yesterday, and it felt awesome and freeing. Can I please make this a regular thing? Everyone would be happier if I just chilled out. Like, everyone.
As much as I’m going to miss having gelato everyday, sitting by the beach, eating on the water with my mom, and devouring the best burritos in northern California, I’ll admit I’m excited to return to my routine in Manhattan and start hitting the gym again. I’ve neglected that recently and feel gross and flabby (even though I know it’s impossible for me to ever get fat). I have a lot to look forward to this summer, including a possible Vegas trip in late August. I have this rule that I must go every single year, so here’s to hoping I can make that happen before fall rolls around and I start bitching about New York’s disgusting weather problem. Take me back to Vegas!
I’ll leave you with this: the west coast remains the best coast, but New York is my home…for now.
“Beauty and the Beast” was my favorite film for many years, perhaps because I watched the Oscar-nominated production before the media slammed it for sending terrible messages to children. As a toddler, I viewed the film in the most basic way: it was about a girl who wanted more than her sheltered small town could provide, but nothing, not even her voracious love for books and knowledge, could convince her to abandon her father, the most important person in her life. Belle, who sees right through cocky womanizers and loves her dad more than anything, seemed like a solid role model, and I paraded around my pre-school pretending to be her without some buzzkill Debbie Downie telling me she was terrible for women.
“The Little Mermaid” eventually received similar criticism, as it supposedly shows little girls that they just have to shut up to be wanted, and these days, it seems like everybody is quick to find something offensive about today’s entertainment for youth. Maybe that’s why the new cartoon, “Epic,” ends the way it does (SPOILERS).
This weekend, I helped my mom babysit my two nephews, and after a beach visit, the four of us headed to the movies to see “Epic,” an animated flick about a teenage girl named MK who moves in with her eccentric dad following the death of her mom. The father is convinced a colony of advanced tiny people exists in the woods surrounding his home, but MK is skeptical, not just because the concept is insane, but because his obsession with the theory ultimately destroyed his marriage and family.
After a freak accident outside, the girl shrinks to the size of all the little people in the woods. Once she gets over the shock of being as small as a leaf, she worries she’ll never again see her dad, who’d been right about the little folks all along.
She’s welcomed by the good society of people, but not the bad guys, who intend to wipe out the nice population, so she finds herself focused on fighting evil rather than trying to become human again. It doesn’t help that she immediately has a thing with one of the cute small men, who also knows the pain of losing a parent.
Long story short, the young woman’s father eventually figures out the society of small people are, in fact, real and that his daughter has magically turned into one of them. She eventually becomes a human again, but as she’s about to go back to her normal self, she kisses the tiny guy she’s fallen for, seemingly hoping he too will make the transformation. She returns to her regular size, but the guy remains a little person, and they’re once back to being part of different worlds.
Both my nephew and I expected him to make the conversion with her, as that’s how Disney movies used to play out. Just think about my favorite film, “Beauty and the Beast”: in the end, the prince and Belle are the same species. In “Shrek,” Princess Fiona becomes an ogre forever and winds up with Shrek. But in “Epic,” the leading lady returns to her normal self and her boyfriend remains unchanged.
Luckily, the father’s technological developments allow them to video chat and stay in touch, but they can only engage in a limited capacity. It kind of reminds me of the “let’s stay friends” approach some people take when forced to break up. You go your separate ways, lead different lives, change as you’re meant to change, and though you choose not to stick together, you’re still friendly and happy to keep in touch. It’s a pleasant ending, and while my mom and I agreed it was more important for the main character to be with her dad than with her love interest, the last few minutes of the film did throw us off a bit. Kids movies just aren’t ending the way they used to, maybe because people know the standard fairy tale conclusion is unrealistic or simply because production companies don’t want to be blasted as anti-feminist.
Either way, I still kind of miss cheesy, albeit outrageous, kids movie endings. What do you have to say about all of this? Are we breeding a generation of realists or cynics, and will they be better off than we were?