This was my favorite movie of 2009. I was enraptured by it from the minute I read its plot summary: “A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl in 1960s suburban London, and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age.”
Today I had a woman tell me she saw the film and it left her unmoved.
So we talked and tried to figure out why I was moved and she wasn’t.
Then I said — maybe it’s a guy thing. Maybe guys — myself excluded of course because I am a Torah Jew — are just turned on by stories of the seduction of post-pubescent schoolgirls. They love stories about suave characters who can take an innocent girl and show her the world while wowing her parents and her friends.
I know that I identified all too readily with the girl’s admirer her age who just couldn’t cut it. He had no game. He was awkward and easy and her parents despised him and she couldn’t care two figs about him. No, she wanted the guy twice her age who had money and class and could show her the world.
If I wasn’t such a holy Jew, I’d love to be a sophisticated gentleman who could seduce 18-year old schoolgirls — and wow their parents! — and take them around the world and show them things. A guy loves to be able to show a girl things. To feel like a big shot. To open up the world to her. That’s glorious. It makes you feel like a man to be able to show a girl things.
The problem with women in their thirties and forties, they’re hard to impress. They’ve often seen more than you and they often earn more than you and they’ve got a lot staked on not being wowed by you, rather they’re contemptuous of men because they’ve been disappointed so many times, so where’s the fun in that?
Would you rather be with a girl who’s impressed by you or with some old bag who’s contemptuous of you?