HappyThanksYouMorePlease, the 2011 Indie Film by Josh Radnor, takes a stab at answering this question with just the right combination of intention and lightheartedness.
Whether you are a twenty-something or not, it’s interesting to see if an artist, in this case filmmaker Josh Radnor [Writer + Director], when painting with broad strokes about a generation, is able to capture the depth of the human experience. Described by IMDB as a film that “captures a generational moment,” HTMP is a film that attempts to paint with these broad strokes.
Radnor not-so-subtly opens his film, which is all about moving from young adulthood to adulthood, with the statement that writing short stories is not the same thing as writing longer form narratives. Is this what it is to become an adult? Learning to make the sacrifices necessary to write longer stories with our lives? Is this part of what it means to be loved?
It may be.
With the tag line “Go Get Yourself Loved,” it may seem like Radnor has simplified the complexity of young adulthood to simply chasing after the next relationship. But he dodges that mistake by daring to articulate a reality about the true nature of love: the hardest work at times may be on the receiving end.
Is it possible that being loved is a state of being that exists whether or not the beloved receives it? Is being loved the state of receiving love from the person you chose to receive it from, or is love something that is given to you whether you receive it or not? Is it time to start writing longer stories? Is it time to confront adulthood?
HappyThankYouMorePlease is an opportunity to consider all this and more.