Someone under the age of 22 asked me if she should go see Follies. Since it is in previews I won't review it yet, but my knee-jerk (emphasis on the jerk) response was "No, I think you are too young for that kind of nostalgia." Another 20-something took umbrage with that statement and frankly she should have told me to fuck-off. Now I know a certain 18 year old who is OBSESSED with Follies so it could be the type of material to appeal to certain young people...so why my response.
Follies, in my eyes, is all about nostalgia and a deep-seated fixation on the past.
I don't think when I was in my 20's I was that focused on the past. I was in fact kind of obsessed with my future. What was I going to do? What was I going to be? How was I going to "make it?" Life was scary but it was full of opportunities. Everything seemed possible. It seemed to me, if you just worked hard enough, you could get where you wanted to go.
The older I get the less I seem to focus on "my future" and contemplate more of my past. In my 20's, I could be nostalgic about high school or friends lost in the passage of time, but the balance of my thoughts between past and future, were largely tipped in favor of the future. In my 30's, I find the scales are just starting to tip the other way.
Confession: I bought Lite Brite off of eBay this year for a photo project I was doing on nostalgic items of my childhood. I then bought a Viewmaster with Muppet disks to go in it. I then bought a typewriter. Yeah, Ok I might be a little obsessed with the past right now. My scales might be seriously out of balance. But having discussed this with some of my 30-something brethren, I guess I am not alone in that. Also, my body is physically falling apart. I'm here to tell you--warranty on body parts totally runs out in your 30's. #thingsnoonetellsyou
It's not that now life is no longer full of possibilities and opportunities, it just feels different to me now. Of course you can change careers (I am certainly evidence of that) and multiple times. You can change cities and partners (been there, done that). Really nothing in life is set in stone (only thinking that makes it so). Shifting gears, changing paths is possible, but as my lower back will tell you, it turns out you can become less flexible over time. I am definitely more susceptible to (emotional) motion sickness upon making drastic changes. The biggest difference is that now I am much more cognizant of the consequences than I ever was before. Which brings me back to....Follies. One of the major questions in Follies is CAN you turn back the clock, start again, correct mistakes made. If you do, there is a cost. As an adult, will you take that risk and endure those costs?
I have no right to say that 20-somethings won't get something out of Follies but my query remains: would someone younger enjoy or appreciate that question? In a mindset of youthful, infinite possibilities who wants to hear that the possibilities might be actually finite. Totes depressing right?