John and I went to see Woody Allen’s latest masterpiece, Blue Jasmine, last night. The story is centered around a once-monied woman whose dependence on men resulted in her insanity and homelessness.
The film was an updated version of Tennessee Williams’s anti-heroine reveries about a faded Southern aristocracy that has been replaced by contemporary delusions that were bred by life as lived among the 1 percent in the Hamptons and in Manhattan.
The film begins with Jasmine’s (née Jeanette’s) arrival in San Francisco, broke but still flying first class, the dazed victim of a financial scandal involving her former husband. Now homeless, she is forced to rely on the comfort of her adopted sister, the slightly depressed, but still happy-go-lucky Ginger, who is romantically involved with a blue-collar lug named Chili.
Ginger resides in San Francisco’s version of the Barrio, and accepts her “lower” lot in life. She works as a grocery clerk, a low, but honorable position in society. Good, honest work. Although she would love to “move up” she does what she has to do to get by. Jasmine, on the other hand, cannot accept the fact that she has moved from point A to point B and dwells continually in her former state of wealth that disappeared from her grasp due to her reliance upon a man…her former husband…who let her down.
This film was written to perfection. It was beautifully shot and directed very well. I do not fault Allen’s failure to capture lower class San Francisco accurately, since he is such a New York-afile, but this was an unimportant detail in the overall scheme of things. It was a great film!
It was also jarring.
How many women do you know that develop false senses of security because they are, or once were, married to wealthy men? When I think of the ones in my own family, I feel ashamed and embarrassed. When these marriages fail, they retain the sensibilities that their undeserved privileged lives once imparted, and they become jokes in the eyes of society.
These individuals may still drive their luxury automobiles or wear their designer clothes, but they live in dumps and behave as though they are notches above their neighbors with whom they now share the same income brackets. They need wake up calls to tell them that THINGS are just THINGS. They need to come back down to earth and stop being pretentious.
Karma only tends to be a bitch if you are….and this goes for men and women alike. Ones actions create that person’s karma, and if someone wound up in the dregs of the low life, it is of her own doing. Winding up as Cate Blanchet did in Blue Jasmine is not the fault of the crooked ex husband. It is the fault of the woman that places her faith in a man and thinks that it elevates her above other people. Those types DESERVE to be taken down a notch or two, and I smile broadly as I think of a couple that this has happened to.
Women should be strong. They should stop taking handouts from their husbands, generate their own income streams and be self-reliant and independent. A marriage should be a partnership…Not a free ride. Every person alive should learn to make his or her own way through this life. If a spouse is successful, that is great. However, one should not assume that another person’s success is HER success. It isn’t. Her husband’s success is HIS success.
Every woman should be strong and independent on her own. She should prepare for life’s ups and downs and not put all her eggs into one basket. She should become whole before marrying instead of expecting her husband to complete her.
If she doesn’t, she may just end up in a living hell where it is hot….hot….hot. If she doesn’t become whole first, she will end up whining about her ex husband for the rest of her life and claiming that it was all HIS fault, instead of living the good life that every woman should have.