Saturday, January 14, 2012

Claire Colburn: Why every girl should have a red hat.

Drew: You're kind of great, Claire. You do know that. Sort of amazing, even.
Claire: Oh, come on! I don't need an ice cream cone.
Drew: It's not an ice cream cone...What's an ice cream cone?
Claire: You know, "Here's a little something to make you happy. Something sweet that melts in five minutes." I'm completely cool with anything you want to say or not say. I don't need it.

A film that will always be in my list of Top 5 Favorite Movies is Elizabethtown. It's directed by Cameron Crowe, so obviously the choice of songs are genius and every scene has purpose. But the real winner in the movie is Kirsten Dunst, who plays my favorite fictional character/girl crush: Claire Colburn, who won my heart after saying, "I'm impossible to forget, but hard to remember."
And when Drew (Orlando Bloom) says, "I'm not used to girls like you," Claire replies, "That's because I'm one-of-a-kind!" Every word that this Claire says makes you feel something. I credit it not just to Kirsten's acting (which is definitely part of it... thank God it wasn't Scarlett Johansson, who also auditioned for the role), but to Claire's red hat. Throughout the movie, to me at least, it's a symbol of independence, freedom, and originality - which shows why Drew is so drawn to her. She has a spunky spirit and an optimistic, big heart - "I don't know a lot about everything, but I do know a lot about the part of everything that I know, which is people."...but also secretly has trouble opening up completely, and figuring out who she is underneath the mask of happy, go-lucky girl: "I think I've been asleep most of my life." The red hat helps personify it all. So obviously, when I walked into Urban Outfitters the first summer I lived in New York and laid eyes on the most incredible red knit hat for sale, I had to buy it. And to this day, whenever I put it on, I feel a sense of comfort and happiness. I think a big part of Claire is also a big part of me.

Back to the movie though. As the film wraps up, Claire sends Drew on an incredible road trip, which ends with Drew going to the 2nd Largest Farmer's Market in the World to find a girl in a red hat. He walks past a signpost with arrows pointing to "Success" and "Failure." Which way does he go to continue his search? "Failure." Which brings me to another favorite quote from the earlier parts of the flick, courtesy of Claire Colburn: "You wanna be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make them wonder why you're still smiling." And so, I'll continue wearing that red knit hat and replay the scenes of this fabulous movie in my head whenever I feel a little down, or whenever I feel perfectly wonderful.
Life may throw curve balls your way and stress may keep building and building until you feel like you're going to burst... but when that happens, listen to the instructions of my fictional girl BFF, Claire: "You have five minutes to wallow in the delicious misery: enjoy it, embrace it, discard it… and proceed."

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