Maybe it’s the antibiotics haze I’m in due to a sinus infection, but I, the avoider of all things related to this over-hyped royal wedding, actually enjoyed the Lifetime movie William and Kate.Unlike every critique I have read since, I found it refreshing.
I know, I know. It’s Lifetime. And there were liberties taken with the script. And the accents weren’t quite right. And it’s saccharine sweet. Yada, yada, yada.
But in a week when my other ‘role model’ image for women is a life-sized Barbie that’s supposed to illustrate how the doll is to be blamed for all our body image issues, well, I’ll take Kate Middleton. This is actually a ‘princess’ story I can get behind.
While the cynics are carping and the dreamers among us are looking upon the upcoming royal nuptials as a “fairy tale” unfolding, I think the real story of William and Kate debunks the whole fairy tale notion and that’s a good thing. Their relationship, as it turns out, is like so many others.
When you watch it told in story form, when you see a friendship blossom into more, the sometimes painful stops and starts, the feeling of the right relationship at the wrong time, it resonates because we have all experienced some part of it or all of it. When you see the girl who cattily tells Kate she has no shot because her breeding isn’t up to snuff in one scene, then sidle up to her in another because she has indeed caught William’s eye, you can’t help but cheer for this dark-haired girl who is smitten.
And when that same mean girl – to put it in Tina Fey vernacular – tells Kate she is lucky to have Will, you want to do a cartwheel when Kate confidently replies that he’s lucky to have her.
Girls so often grow up thinking we’re lucky when and if a guy looks our way. Or we think we have to change to get a man’s attention. In the unsanitized Grimms’ Fairy Tale version of Cinderella, her stepmother orders one stepsister to cut off her toe and the other to cut off her heel in order to fit into the famed glass slipper that would win them the prince.
In the movie William and Kate, we see a course-changing scene where her mother – after too many tabloid headlines calling her daughter “Waity Katie” – advises her to get out and live. If she’s going to be followed by paparazzi anyway, why not show the world she isn’t sitting around waiting and moping? Prince or no prince.
Like I said, my kind of fairy tale.
It’s easy to root for this princess -- who can give the men a run for their money while sporting a gun, who questions the ages-long etiquette of walking behind her man -- as opposed to, say, the entitled brats that are consistently presented to us on TV.
I don’t need the script of this Lifetime movie to be word-for-word true to know it is a form of ‘reality’ television I prefer. With our penchant for seeing athletes and celebs as role models, we could do worse than holding up this relationship as an example, royal or no royal.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to put the weight of the world on this marriage or project some cock-eyed perfection on these young adults. But I was heartened by a scene in the film where William talks to his father, Prince Charles, frankly about his marriages and how he doesn’t plan on making the same mistakes. If any part of that conversation actually took place, at least underneath the pomp and circumstance there is hope and fresh air.
This gets me thinking about a Fancy Feast commercial I happen to love. Its appeal stems from the fact that the guy is a keen observer of what lights up his girlfriend. They visit her parents for the first time together, she is captivated when she reunites with the fluffy white cat, he takes note, he buys a fluffy white kitten and hangs a heart-shaped tag around its neck with the words, “Will you marry us?” inscribed on it, and she is bowled over. It’s about the gesture, loving who she is, and being keyed in to what she likes.
This marks a sweet start perhaps grounded in something besides – as so many pairings are these days – primarily sex and materialism. From what we know, William and Kate are smart, altruistic, sexual, family-oriented and, as a bonus, attractive with a sense of style. Considering the royal story has mostly been thrust upon us, how fortunate that this time around it is actually relatable if we care to listen.
I won’t be purchasing a refrigerator or a Pez dispenser commemorating the royal couple any time soon, but I will join millions around the world and watch these two people commit to one another in a lavish ceremony, wishing them blessings and love as they move forward in life.
Hoping they live happily ever after, at least most of the time.
Nancy Colasurdo is a practicing life coach and freelance writer. Her Web site is www.nancola.com and you can follow her on Twitter @nancola. Please direct all questions/comments to FOXGamePlan@gmail.com.