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jackielou_navigatingvalentines
Credit: Jackie Lou

About two weeks ago, I was dumped. Just in time for Valentine’s Day and the premier of “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.” (aka my Tinder profile, except with the Oxford comma). The combination and proximity of these three incidents — my unfortunate dumpage, the premier of a devastatingly controversial film, and the day for people to shower their partners in dump trucks full of chocolate got me thinking: How do these grand, extraordinary, and dangerous movie magic moments ruin the chances for us librarian-esque girls out there? 

In today’s twisted era of memes that capitalize on childhood trauma and collective depression, do movies like “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” just feed into this increasingly warped mindset? When the media pops out movies from the perspective of a notorious serial killer’s girlfriend, not really focusing on any of said serial killer’s victims, I question how to point our communal focus in a different, more morally sound, direction. Everyone wants some excitement in their romance, but this is not the way. Have you tried making a checklist and checking everything off of it? It’s thrilling — I promise.  

“Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” does what it intended to do in showcasing the charisma and charm of the notorious serial killer Ted Bundy. His physical attractiveness assisted in luring in his victims. But how about making a movie about one of his victims? Or all of his victims? Why are we memorializing the cause of such horror and pain instead of the people who deserved more time on this earth but didn’t get it because of this monster with good hair? 

Our morbid curiosity with serial killers is reaching an ethically dangerous peak. Are killer good looks not enough anymore? Seeing as I will be working a five hour shift the night of Valentine’s Day, not enjoying any romantic dinners or bonbons with my sweetheart, I will have a lot of time to contemplate this question. If you too find yourself dumped merely days before the day of love feel free to join me in a brooding session where we contemplate why exactly people want to consume media about the most heinous of people, and how we can encourage the production of important films about the better side of humanity. 

I will say that going to the movies (and supporting a different film) has been a helpful distraction from the fact that there’s no longer someone sitting next to me while I go see these movies. We Penn students are entering that dangerous arena of adult love, and sometimes need to be reminded that with adult love there is the possibility of adult heartbreak. This adult heartbreak, however, can be eased with some good old-fashioned childhood treats, like a trip to the movie theatre, or hanging out with a friend. It sounds cliche, I know, but the whole point of this is to say that it’s okay to be normal and cliche. You don’t have to be the antihero of some wild and crazy film to be exciting and worthy of love. You can simply be a regular student– like a girl with big glasses and a big mouth for example.

SOPHIA DUROSE is a College sophomore from Orlando, Fla. studying English. Her email is sdurose@sas.upenn.edu. 

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