The Amélie Dilemma

amelie-featLike many young women, I was deeply inspired by the movie Amélie. I dreamt of becoming an innocent, gamine creature who walked through a world suffused with golden, French light. I admit, after viewing that movie I practiced my wide-eyed pout. I suppose I did, on occasion, walk the streets with a determination to help the world, while imagining a wistful accordion tune playing in the background. The film may have even been indirectly responsible for my decision to bob my hair. But alas, I eventually had to acknowledge that a life like Amélie’s could never exist in the cold, brutal reality of New York City. Also, I finally had to accept that the girl is basically batshit crazy. I’m not just talking about the hallucinations in which her animal artwork gives her sage life advice. Nor am I referring to her strange bean-fondling fetish. Let us examine the following:

She’s Got A Nasty Habit Of Breaking And Entering

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During the movie she commits B&E no less than 4 times. Sure, that grocer was an unbelievable asshole. And I suppose that providing much needed closure for her sad-sack Landlady was kind of nice. But you know what happens when you enter someone’s apartment without permission in New York? That someone calls the cops. Or shoots you. Either way, it sort of takes the quirky charm out of these plans. And just because the poignantly tragic Glass Man also doesn’t understand the concept of locked doors and personal property does not make it okay. Really. It’s creepy, Amélie. Just creepy.

She’s Not Averse To Stealing The Occasional Lawn Ornament

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Okay, okay, it was her dad’s lawn ornament. But still. Was there really no other way to convince dear old Dad that he needed to see the world? Only robbery would do? And what the hell is up with her father? Does he actually believe this absurd traveling gnome story? Of course, mental illness does tend to have a genetic component, so this would certainly explain Amélie’s unique view of her lamp. You know, the one that comes to life and turns itself off, as lamps do.

She Fixed Her Co-Worker Up With A Maniac Stalker

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Everyone knew that this guy was completely insane, and possibly threatening. And while Blondie was kind of annoying with her hypochondria, this punishment certainly does not fit the crime. She is now doomed to listen to his aggressive rants all day long. Or get a restraining order. Or leave town. Basically, she’s in for a world of hurt thanks to Amélie’s perverse matchmaking skills. True, Sniffles got some hot bathroom sex first, but that’s not the point. There’s nothing attractive about stalking, Amélie. Nothing! Which brings us to…

The Whole Nino Situation

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Really, Amélie. You could have just left his book at the Porn Palace. You could have arranged a slightly bizarre rendezvous in the haunted house and given it back to him like a normal person. But you’re not a normal person, are you Amélie? Did you actually steal Nino’s book? No. But wasn’t your whole game a little bit cruel? And just a tad stalker-ish? And what about the lying, Amélie? Do you want to build your relationship on a foundation of falsehoods? Is this how you plan on keeping the excitement alive, by refusing to admit when you’re home and covering your lover’s eyes while he’s driving through the notoriously life-threatening Parisian traffic? Nino, you’ve got to get out of this, pronto. Yes, her eyes are pools of Parisian perfection, but they’re crazy eyes. Crazy I tell you! Sure, she seems sweet and unconstrained by the rules of society, choosing instead to indulge in delightful whimsy. But actually she’s the kind of woman who ends up breaking into your apartment, trashing your possessions, and stealing your lawn ornaments. And a good gnome is hard to find.

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After such damning evidence it’s impossible to idolize this Parisian freak. And I feel a sense of freedom now that I’ve left those dreams behind. I certainly don’t want to end up in jail, with a restraining order, and probably out of a job (not that a 10-hour a week waitressing job would in any way support a single woman in New York), all because of an obsession with adorably unfashionable hair and uniquely clunky shoes. No, I’ve broken my Amélie habit, left it in the past, moved on to better goals, saner dreams. Really. I have. Moved on, that is. That gnome on the chair next to me? Purely decorative. Totally not intended to teach anyone about the joy of life and adventure. And look, I’ll fondle beans if I want to, okay? That doesn’t mean I aspire to some level of Amélie-embodiment. It’s a legitimate past-time shared by tons of non-Amélie emulating people. This proves nothing, dammit! Now excuse me, please, while I take disproportionate delight in cracking this crème brûlée and plot my next home invasion.

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