The Wisdom of Cameron Crowe

I can’t help myself. I just keep thinking about Cameron Crowe movies, the ones I watched over and over again in high school and college.

The guy’s sort of a genius.

First, let’s take a look at Lloyd Dobler, from Say Anything. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Lloyd is a yogi, ahead of his time. A Bhakti yogi, the stream of devotion. Only, he doesn’t direct that devotion to God—he directs it to Diane Court. She’s his God, for a while. And that’s okay. Because one of the primary ways we learn about Love and Devotion is through our romantic relationships, especially starting out admiring someone and adoring them in high school.

I can’t even begin to quote all the miraculous lines, all the perfectly constructed words and phrases that make up this beautiful movie. (Except for the parts where Diane’s dad gets in trouble for embezzling money, which is all very boring.) The crux of the story is that two people who are an odd pair—two people who nobody thinks makes sense together—really make sense together. And the gem of it is Lloyd’s willingness to take a chance, to jump in, to love fully and wholly, without holding back.

Ah, if more men could be like that.

Here’s a cute little mash-up of some scenes.

And then there is Singles.

Ah, Singles.

I couldn’t walk through Seattle many years ago without thinking about the characters, without all my experiences being illuminated by the great dialogue of that movie.

Again, the story is about two people falling in love. But it’s hard to get there. They’re both scared and skittish because they’ve been heartbroken before, and they don’t want to go there again.

This is kind of like Lloyd Dobler and Diane Court, broken up, years later, trying to date again.

Just watch the clip. That’s all you need. My words can’t describe it.


And finally, the last of my faves, Jerry Maguire. 

Jerry Ma-fucking-guire, as his girlfriend calls him.

The big shot at the sporting agency who realizes he’s been doing it all wrong. He’s so concerned with money and prestige and big names in sports that he forgets what matters in life. As he says, “Because a hockey player’s kid made me feel like a superficial jerk, I ate two slices of bad pizza, went to bed and grew a conscience!”

He stays up late one night in his underwear and composes a mission statement—don’t call it a memo!—to all the employees at his sports agency. It’s about recognizing what matters in life, how they should change the way they do things.

And everyone just thinks he’s gone crazy. So when he quits, they all just stare at him silently as he walks out, continuing on with their superficial lives.

And even though he goes through struggles and loses quite a bit of money and dumps his lame, superficial girlfriend, his life becomes so much better, so much richer, so much more filled with deep relationships. It takes him a while to adjust, but eventually he comes around to seeing the beauty and wonder of what’s right in front of him, and what has been in front of him all along.

I’m writing this in Venice, and I’m sitting by a small canal, and I’ve had a good meal. And everything around me is beautiful. Really, quite beautiful.

Yet I’m thinking about Cameron Crowe, one of the many writers who also serves as a sage, and I’m imagining what the screenplay of my life would look like if Mr. Crowe wrote it.

I think it would be a lot of fun!

A girl can dream, right?


Categories: love, writing

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1 reply

  1. What a yummy piece of writing. Can hardly believe it was written on the fly in a cafe in Venice, Italy. These ‘Jana’ stories are getting addictive, as is my nostalgic need to watch some great Cameron Crowe movies.


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