Jan 20, 2017

Gave "The Boring Choice" A Chance (Also, A Spoiler for LaLaLand)

So, I've finally watched LaLaLand. Interestingly, the movie made me think about this...

Before LaLaLand, cerita “cinta nggak kesampaian” has been the central theme of many films, such as Casablanca, 500 Days of Summer, Vicky Christina Barcelona and a lot others.

The formula’s typically like this:
  • Guy meets girl.
  • Guy and girl are annoyed at each other.
  • Guy and girl fell deeply in love.
  • Guy and girl becomes the cutest couple.
  • Guy and girl’s relationship becomes complicated (usually because each of THEIR personalities are complicated).
  • Guy and girl are uncertain about future.
  • Guy and girl still loves each other, but they decide to move on towards different direction.
Then the guy or the girl decided to settle with someone else.

And as if that isn’t depressing enough, there’s usually this scene where they meet for one last time, and exchange knowing, bittersweet look. The end.

Penonton mewek, deh!

There are many other movies with “cinta nggak kesampaian” as part of its plot, although the formula isn’t always identical and some even ends with happy endings. For example, Love Actually, Titanic, The Notebook, and AADC 2 to name a few.

Hollywood make films with “cinta nggak kesampaian” plots, because it’s more real and, therefore, more relatable for the audience.

Life IS complicated. It isn’t always, “guy meets girl, guy and girl fall in love, guy and girl be together forever, the end.” Some lucky folks experience that, but even so, their lives aren’t always be filled with love and happiness. In life, things that seem destined to be together often don’t end up being together.

It’s bitter, but it’s the reality.


In this post, I’m going to talk about a character that shows up in a lot of “cinta nggak kesampaian” film.

I shall call the character, The Boring Choice.

In “cinta nggak kesampaian” movies, The Boring Choice is the person who marries (or almost marries) the main character, therefore, further ruining the main character's chance to marry the other main character.

Why do I call this character The Boring Choice? Because, s/he is usually portrayed as a somewhat boring person, and more plain looking than the main character (a.k.a. his/her rival). This is probably on purpose, to keep the audience conflicted, “Ngapain dia kawin sama cowok itu, sih? Mending sama si tokoh utama lah! Lebih ganteng!”

When The Boring Choice is a male—who marries the film’s main female character—he’s usually older, serious, busy, wears suits, kind-hearted but very boring, not the least romantic, and doesn’t understand art (especially if the main male character does!). Pokoknya baik, tapi nggak asik.

And because he eventually marries the film’s main female character, audience tends to dislike him. “Gara-gara dia, sih, si Summer jadi nggak sama Tom!” Mungkin begitu jeritan hati para penonton 500 Days of Summer, terhadap suaminya Summer.

Mia's husband, The Boring Choice in "LaLaLand"

In this post, I am going to defend The Boring Choice

Guys, it isn’t fair if we see The Boring Choice as a villain, who gets in the way between the two lead characters.

Because, first, it’s usually NOT The Boring Choice’s fault that the two lead character breaks apart.

Summer and Tom or Mia and Sebastian didn’t break up because the girls wanted to marry other men. Their relationships got complicated because of their own fault. Sikon dan kelakuan mereka aja pada ribeeet. Atau diribet-ribetin. Plis, deh.

And as bitter as things turn out for us—the audience—please don’t pity the lead character's marriage with The Boring Choice in the end, because I’m sure it's perfectly fine and content. The female lead characters marry their Boring Choices mindfully, kok! It seems that their decision was made with a lot of consideration, lho, bukan karena emosi semata, ingin cari rebound/pelarian, dan sejenisnya. For example, Vicky in Vicky Christina Barcelona.

Maybe Peter isn’t as romantic as Mark, or maybe Mia’s husband isn’t as passionate as Seb, but because Juliet and Mia decided to marry them, they couldn’t be that bad. In other words, I’m sure they are decent husbands and they will have a happy, content family together.

Peter, Juliet's husband, The Boring Choice in "Love, Actually"

Lagian, pada akhirnya, seperti kata-kata bijak Jessa di serial TV Girls, “In ends. It always ends.” Cinta membara biasanya akan agak meredup, dan prioritasnya tergesar oleh komitmen dan tanggung jawab. So choosing a spouse that can commit and be responsible maybe isn’t romantic, but it will keep the marriage enduring.



As you probably have guessed (or known), I married a Boring Choice myself.

Do I see myself as Mia, who marries a boring, stable man, and would someday cross path with my Tom or Sebastian, then go home, cry my eyes out all night, and regret my life choices?

Yes and no.

Yes, because, I did marry a boring, stable, responsible man without having “love” as one of the reasons.

No, because, I don’t think I have a “Sebastian”. I did have flaming love stortes in the past, but currently, I don’t see any of my exes as “the one that got away.”

I did marry The Boring Choice. But it’s MY choice, and although I’m not always happy with it, I'm embracing it, committed to it, and thankful for it.

Doug, Vicky's fiance, The (Ultimate) Boring Choice in "Vicky Christina Barcelona"

Real life is weird and complicated, and there is no exact formula for a long-lasting or happy relationship. 1 + 1 isn’t always equals 2. If a couple marries without love, they may still grow old together, and never separates until they die. They probably will never cheat or divorce, like in cliché movies’ logic. Or they probably will. We don’t know.

Some people don’t understand this, and those people are the ones who often make wrong assumptions, “Waah, si anu beginu beginu, pasti bentar lagi cerai, deh. Si inu begitu begitu, pasti selingkuh, deh.” Some people conclude Aliya Rajasa marries geeky Ibas for the family power, especially when comparing him to her ex. Under that assumption, if the Yudhoyonos’ power burned to ashes one day, Aliya would leave.

But are we sure? She’d probably stick by Ibas side until the end, lho, under any circumstances. Again, we don’t really know.

That is why Hollywood makes films with complicated love stories, because they mimic real life.

Lon, Allie's fiance, The Boring Choice in "The Notebook" 


Since a long time ago, both T and I often talk—and even jokes—about our platonic relationship. And whenever we watch “cinta tak sampai” kind of movies, he always asks:

T: “Aku, tuh, si suami garing yang akhirnya ngawinin si X itu, ya?”
L: “Iyaaa...”
T: “B@8#?!...”

But then I always say, “I’m glad I have you, though. Because although we probably don’t love each other, no other men in the world could put up with my insanity, for this long.”

And he would say, “That is very true.” (baca: emang kamu gila)


We will definitely grow old together :)


  1. Mbak, aku mau tanya..intinya LalaLand recommended gak ya? lagi ngebujuk suami buat nonton nih, mana doi tipe yang gak suka film2 drama gitu, kalo filmnya biasa aja takut dia tidur di bioskop. hahahaha.

    1. Hehe, aku sih kurang suka Luk. Dan kalau suami tipenya gitu, kayaknya nggak akan suka sama sekali deh sama Lalaland.

  2. film favorit yg temanya 'cinta ngga kesampaian' aku before sunrise, kata orang sih boring karena isinya cuma ngobrol doang tapi aku malah suka sama dialog2nya yang dalem sampai aku tonton berkali kali dan download scriptnya haha

    1. Before Sunrise legendaris, sih. Before Sunset dan Before Midnight-nya nonton nggak? :)

    2. before sunset udah, yang midnightnya belum. Pas udah nikah dan beranak pinak kayaknya udah gak percaya lagi sama cinta cinta-an haha.

  3. Hahaha, ini gw pas awal baca udah mbatin... curhat banget shaay... No worries, kebanyak perempewi punya love story yang berakhir sama (aman) *tutupin muka pake bantal :D

  4. Kalo film Indonesia-nya, Hari untuk Amanda ya Kak.. Aku suka banget endingnya kaya gitu, realistis. Malah sebel sama Perahu Kertas dan AADC 2 hahaha..

  5. hahaha kalo di film tokoh2 boring choice ini sebenernya belum tentu boring tapi karena emang gak cukup waktu buat diexplore further aja di filmnya kan ya....

    kalo in real life... ah masa sih ada yang beneran boring life? bukan boring kali ya tapi emang lebih dewasa dibanding pilihan2 pas remaja yang mana masih masa2 rebel... hehehe

  6. yaaahh jadi ga penasaran dan ga napsu lagi buat nonton haha.. makasih insight nya mbak Lei

  7. Ah palingan juga kalau kawin sama main role yg asik whatsoever, hidupnya tetep boring juga kok #anaknyaskeptis

    Sejujurnya gw gak suka lho formula film romance yang ada tokoh the boring choice nya, karena... hmmm kayak yang nulis skrip tuh males nyari konflik/hambatan lain yang lebih greget daripada orang ketiga to take all the blame.

    Btw, "the boring choice" favorit gw adalah won bin di serial endless love (ketauan umurnya yah) walaupun kalau dipikir lagi, he's not boring at all, the main male role is the boring one... like the blandest personality ever (lah jadi gimana sih kak? Bahahahaha)

    Anw, I hate lalaLand... I hate it when a movie revolve around love alone. Or maybe I'm just too old #sigh

  8. Dengan (hanya) baca kisah trip to Disneyland pun bisa tahu betapa Mr.T adalah pria terbaik untuk Laila A. :)

    Btw iiih saya suka La La Land karna setelah menontonnya hati jadi gembira lalala pokonya mah #apeu

  9. Aku jadinya 'nonton' La La Land via wikipedia sama trailer Youtube aja deh. Orang pada protes endingnya ternyata macam gini toh hihi

    Emang bener ya kata orang cinta tuh nggak cukup dijadikan alasan untuk menikah, bukan yang terutama. Tapi aku jadi wondering, Mba Lei. Do you guys say 'i love you' to each others?

  10. Laaa, topik VERVAHAYA iniiii, hahhahahahahay.Kangen euy, nulis dong di toko sebelah ;)

  11. nyokap dulu sering geleng2 kepala lihat kelakuan gw dan alm. suami. sama tuh Lei, kata nyokap "cuma kamu yang bisa bertahan sama kelakuan suamimu. tapi cuma suamimu juga yang bisa bertahan sama kelakuan kamu"

    dipikir2, gw dl memutuskan menikahi the interesting one, but it ends. alhamdulillah basicly he responsible until the ends. kalo satu pihak meninggal Lei, itu dikategorikan happily ever after ngga?