Last week I made the mistake of scoffing at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decision to include Let it Go, from the movie Frozen, as one of the nominees for best original song. I had concluded, after one listen, that it was fine, I guess but I wasn’t too impressed. I then went on both Twitter and Facebook to tell my friends that it wasn’t that great and perhaps find a new earworm. Oh, the responses! Idina! I needed context! So, I made the executive decision to take myself to see Frozen.
Look, I have no issues with going to the movies by myself, in fact it is one of my favorite pastimes along with anything that involves being completely alone. I can eat all of the gummy worms and not worry about someone being late and forcing me to painfully miss the previews. I like being able to digest the content of a film without talking it over with the person next to me as soon as the first credit rolls. I can cry in front of strangers but not in front of a bestie without feeling sheepish (for example when I started weeping as Elsa belted out Let it Go, because YES, GIRL, let it all go). I am, however, more wary when it comes to seeing a children’s movie without a child. There I am, a 30 year old single woman chilling in a Disney movie without a kid by my side. As a friend so helpfully pointed out, “You look like a creeper.” And this is how I ended up spending 45 seconds, peering into the theater then pretending to look for the correct venue for Ride Along. It was a smooth as one might expect.
When I publicly discussed my meh’ reaction to Let it Go, my friend Amanda had this to say:
“You know, the sentiment behind is that she has a gift and other people’s opinion of it can be damned. She’s going to let her distinct sparkle and strength go. So, I think, the song kind of applies to you.”
I am not the first to note that the message behind many Disney films is one of being saved. In that young women need a Prince Valiant to swoop in and save them from their single life of misery. I mean, how could a woman go on with her life without a man to catch her? It’s a terrible lesson to teach young girls, and while Disney (and I acknowledge that I am making this criticism on a Disney owned property) has made efforts to change their messaging, much of what they do is based on fairy tales that end with a nice neat bow. That said, I am the first to admit being wrong, and in the case of Frozen and questioning what Let it Go will do for me, I was wrong.
I wanted to wrap this movie up in a hug and take it home with me. I have succumbed to Frozenization of America, and I have no shame in turning to friends to sing, “Do you want to build a snowman?” It’s a film that can be quoted in almost every situation. Like scraping ice off your car in the dead of winter:
“There’s beauty and there’s danger here,
split the ice apart
Beware the frozen heart.”
When you encounter a potential suitor who is totally great save for a few flaws:
“Is it the way that he runs scared?
Or that he’s socially impaired?
Or that he only likes to tinkle in the woods?
Are you holding back your fondness
Due to his unmanly blondeness?”
After a weekend alone with your cat when Monday rolls around:
“There’ll be actual real live people
It’ll be totally strange
But wow, am I so ready for this change”
Of course the piece de resistance is the Oscar nominated Let it Go. I get it now. I totally get it. I get it so much that every morning I stand in the shower, using everything in me to belt out:
“It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong
No rules for me … I’m free”
It was true, I needed the context and the imagery. I needed to see Elsa waving her hand throwing up ice crystals like she ran out of cares to give. I needed to see the foot stomp because, damn it! Enough already with trying to be perfect and concealing her true self. P.S. Mothers? Please raise your daughters to know that haters are gonna hate. I left the mall ready to take on anyone and anything, so I write this with sincere apologies to the drivers around me. It was just so good and empowering. Not only should you continue to do you but ladies? Whoever said that only men can provide true love was lying. Now, excuse me while I find a dear friend to say this to:
“We can fix this hand in hand
We can head down this mountain together
You don’t have to live in fear
‘Cause for the first time in forever
I will be right here”