Let’s hear it for the misfits…
On the way home from watching Jane Eyre I was reflecting with Emily Page* what, for me, made a good movie. Something I got to thinking about was just how crazy much I love a character that is altogether not ‘normal’. Unconventional, eccentric, quirky… call it what you will, I love a character that just doesn’t fit it. I’m talking Napoleon Dynamite, Olive Hoover outta Little Miss Sunshine, Annie the lead in Bridemaids, the parents from Easy A and the misfit to rule them all, Vic Reeves.
It’s not great quality, but she also pointed me towards this little Napoleon Clip from the David Letterman show… ‘Top ten signs you’re not the coolest kid in school’.
What these people speak to me of are two main things…
HOPE. These characters tell us something vital. It’s OK to be a bit of a misfit. You may still get the girl/guy (depending on gender/preference). Things will work out OK, even when all sources point that you’re a weirdo.
ORIGINALITY. Characters and storylines that celebrate originiality are wonderful. Because often those weird eccentrics are the ones to watch. Their perspective and ability to live outside of the box will change the world around them.
And do you know what… I love a good role model that can model those things to both me, and the precious precious young people I work with. It’s a tough business out there, trying to be authentically you rather than conform to something you’re not, you know?
Now let’s get celebrating the eccentric qualities and bizarre tendencies of those around us on the right side of normality**.
* Minister of Movies, UK
** Which might just be the ‘wrong side’.