The First Time

As with all romantic comedies, this one checks all the boxes. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, there is angst after the honeymoon period, and then finally the fairytale resolution. Except boy has a prospective partner he is in love with, and girl has a “dude”. Also, their angst was born out of very awkward, apparently very bad first time sex. But it all gets resolved in the end despite pesky hurdles like pride, useless relationship advice, and parents who don’t meddle in their children’s lives. While they finally get their respective heads out of their arses and get together, it does make you wonder what the future is going to bring for these two, with Dave going off to Columbia and Aubrey still having a year of high school to work through. A year is an eternity when it’s high school.

That said, I loved Dave’s “love confession” to Aubrey at the end of the movie. Compare, his written declaration of love for Jane

Jane, Janey, lately I’ve been feeling like there’s so much noise. So much static, all these voices competing for attention. Teachers, parents, magazines… what’s in, what’s out, who’s cool, who’s not cool enough, and it’s like all this shit just gets so loud I can’t even hear myself think, I just wanna get in my car and drive, but then I see you. I see you across the hall, you’re leaning against your locker, in that jacket that you love so much. And the way you tuck your hair back behind your ears, when you see me, and you smile. You just smile, and it’s like… all that noise fades away, you know? And the only thing I can hear is the sound of your voice when you call out my name.

with the verbal one he ambushes Aubrey with outside her house the morning after their failed attempt at sex

I don’t know much about relationships. I definitely don’t know anything about love. I can’t believe I talked like I did. I don’t. All I want, like in the world, is to just keep talking to you. I wanna know how your day was, where you wanna eat, I wanna argue with you, and I wanna hear all your theories, even the ones that are just completely wrong. I know it’s not that simple. I just think… no, I really believe that if you’d just be willing to continue having this conversation with me, then we can figure the rest out.

We’re supposed to believe that all his unrequited love for Jane has been wiped clean after a weekend with Aubrey, who is unquestionably smarter, artsier, better than Jane, who has been portrayed as the pretty, perfect airhead with a taste for bad boys. Dave can and is doing so much better with Aubrey, because they “get” each other. I’m not saying that this isn’t possible- it certainly is. Dave is the typical “good guy”, the boy you wouldn’t hesitate to bring home to meet the parents. Dave is every girl’s dream, or at least every girl who aren’t already being the Janes of the world.

What I really liked is the realistic way first time sex is portrayed- awkward and ultimately bad, despite the best intentions. Films or even books that have dealt with the losing of one’s virginity have mostly gone down the magical and memorable route. Not that it’s not possible for your first time to be perfect, but the reality is that it most likely won’t be. For a girl yet to lose her virginity, this will come as a heartening epistemological shift in perceptions and fantasies of first time sex. My virginity had never been something I hold as precious or something that had to be given to “the one”. As Aubrey so succinctly says, there is no “the one”, there is only a dude. Hopefully that dude will be well-versed in the ways of giving and receiving carnal pleasure, but if he isn’t hey, it’s good too. So long as we can continue to talk, everything else, we can figure out.

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