I just watched this film about a young woman navigating adulthood through relationships and career transitions. It’s one of those comfort films that makes you feel validated about being an adult without having any of the adult things figured out.
Julie is a top medical student who ends up switching to psychology, and then photography. She ends up working at a bookstore for a few years as she tries to grapple with what she wants in life. She has an estranged relationship with her dad, who has another family of his own, but is unable to confront him about it. She has many flings, and ends up in 2 serious relationships where she wonders Is This It. Her insecurities about her career and her indecisivenes about her future are among the few issues that keep her from moving forward.
We can see that Julie is trying to figure out her life, but nothing seems to really fit. Her relationships are merely hedonistic pursuits where she always ends up feeling like the supporting character. It’s not that she can’t be who she wants to be, it’s that she doesn’t know who that is, or if it’s even worth the pursuit. The film is genius at letting things flow; Julie’s trajectory is unpredictable, with her decisions being neither wrong or right—they just are.
Watching others go through problems that I can identify with helps me see my own issues from the same point of view: as a non-judging, neutral viewer. It’s easy for me to punish myself for not appreciating the life I have; in reality, my problems are relative, far more common that I think, and not that big a deal in the grand scheme of life. Freeing myself from the isolation of my thoughts is what allows me to stop dwelling on them, and look for ways to move forward.