Episode #4: Iris Simpkins is my spirit animal

August 10, 2017

If you haven't watched The Holiday before, please do.

Even though I get extremely loud and cheerful whenever I am around my friends, I am - believe it or not - quite an introvert. I don't feel comfortable at social situations. I don't like any kind of public display of affection. I hate being around mushy couples. Some might say it sounds a bit bitter, but that's just how I roll. But one thing that I do enjoy a lot are romantic comedies. I never tried to understand why until yesterday, when I was re-watching for the zillionth time my absolute favorite rom-com: The Holiday.
If you never watched it before, The Holiday starts with an amazing monologue by Iris Simpkins (Kate Winslet) about unrequited love. It's one of those scenes that resonates with me every single time. I know all the words to it, so allow me to share them with you:

"I've found almost everything ever written about love to be true. Shakespeare said "Journeys end in lovers meeting." What an extraordinary thought. Personally, I have not experienced anything remotely close to that, but I am more than willing to believe Shakespeare had. I suppose I think about love more than anyone really should. I am constantly amazed by its sheer power to alter and define our lives. It was Shakespeare who also said "love is blind". Now that is something I know to be true. For some quite inexplicably, love fades; for others love is simply lost. But then of course love can also be found, even if just for the night. And then, there's another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. Its called unrequited love. Of that I am an expert. Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone? We are the victims of the one sided affair. We are the cursed of the loved ones. We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded. The handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space! Yes, you are looking at one such individual. And I have willingly loved that man for over three miserable years! The absolute worst years of my life! The worst Christmas', the worst Birthday's, New Years Eve's brought in by tears and valium. These years that I have been in love have been the darkest days of my life. All because I've been cursed by being in love with a man who does not and will not love me back. Oh god, just the sight of him! Heart pounding! Throat thickening! Absolutely can't swallow! All the usual symptoms."

After that, you just feel compelled to root for her character during the entire movie - at least I do. She's a fuck up just like me when it comes to love. And I think that's why I enjoy this kind of movies, deep down I do believe there is hope for everyone. But let's talk more about Iris, shall we?

She is relatable. Iris is like every other average women out there: she has a regular job, a dog, a home, she's healthy and apparently very normal. But of course she has been cursed with a horrible relationship with a guy who didn't really want her and it's not like the guy is willing to let her go either.
Her character shows us that letting go isn't as easy as it seems and it takes time to get over someone. It's okay to go MIA for a while and get some me time. If you need to cry, then cry. If you need to go away, then by all means just go! The process will be way smoother if you enjoy yourself and do whatever makes you happy.
Even though she knows the guy is an asshole, she holds on to the good times they had in the past. And when he suddenly reappears in her life she shows us that is normal to have a moment of weakness. We can't be strong 100% of the time and that's fine. 

Despite the fact that she is heartbroken, she doesn't shut herself from new experiences. When we are hurt, our first instinct is to bring our walls up. By doing that, we can miss out on really amazing opportunities. So I always try to remind myself of that. Thanks, Iris!
I am going to spoil the ending for you if you haven't watched it yet by saying that she ends up meeting this amazing and caring guy who has just been through some shitty stuff as well and they bond over it. Sometimes we might be afraid that we are too damaged to deserve love. Or we might be afraid of committing to someone that carries some sort of emotional baggage as well. I'm not going to say it's a rule: but I do believe that two broken people can make a great relationship and Iris is a poster girl of that. And I love her character for it.

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