December 7, 2014

The Truth Will Set You Free: Picture Perfect (1997)

Lies are a lot of work. Sure, we've all told a few white lies here and there, which hardly has any impact on anyone, but the real trouble arises when the lie is bigger than a little fib. The more intricate the lie, the more likely it will eventually take on a life of it's own and be too hard to control. When that happens, everything begins to come apart at the seams and all the lies basically catch up to you in one moment of reckoning, reminding you that the original lie was completely avoidable.

This is exactly what happened to the main character in the movie Picture Perfect (1997), when she decided to go along with a not so little white lie about her love life so that she could get ahead at work. The thing is, if she had just been honest with her boss from the beginning about her intention and commitment to the firm, she would have probably avoided a lot, if not all, of the drama that ensued as a result of her first lie by omission. But then again, she also wouldn't have fallen in love either.

In the movie Picture Perfect (1997), Kate Mosley (Jennifer Aniston) is an ambitious young woman vying for recognition on the job who resorts to lying about her romantic status in an effort to prove her stability and promotion worthiness to her boss. Although the original idea to pretend to be engaged to a man that she had only had a brief exchange with over the previous weekend was her co-worker/best friend's idea, Kate quickly got on board with the hopes that it would pay off for her on the job. What she didn't expect, however, was to fall in love with the guy that she was pretending to be with for the sake of her job.


From the beginning of the movie, we immediately learned that Kate was obsessed with getting ahead at work. Despite her relatively short time with Mercer Advertising, she felt her hard work wasn't being appreciated, and naturally when an opportunity presented itself for her to impress her boss so that she could in fact get what she wanted, she took it. Unfortunately, that led her down the path of a web of lies that not only involved a nice videographer named Nick (Jay Mohr), but also another co-worker, Sam Mayfair (Kevin Bacon), who only wanted to be with her because she was unavailable.The proof being once she had executed the perfect fake public breakup with Nick at a work related dinner (so she could rid herself of Nick for good and yet still keep her promotion), she revealed her single status to him only to be rejected.

By the end of the movie, not only was Kate forced to come clean about everything to everyone involved, she had almost seriously jeopardized her promotion and a real chance at love with Nick. Luckily for her, her boss wasn't turned off by her scheme to get ahead and she was able to keep her job. She was then able to take the suggested time off from work to go pay a visit to Nick and confess her true feelings for him and the two presumably began a real relationship thereafter. I think the same thing is true for all of us as well. If we simply live in our truth, we could avoid dramatic disasters in our lives (both personal and professional) and move towards living our best and happiest lives. As the saying goes, the truth will set you free.

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