Thursday, October 8, 2015

Tru Confessions

I've always loved the Disney Channel movie Tru Confessions. It's about a 14-year-old girl named Tru (short for Trudy) whose twin brother Eddie has a mental disability (the movie never says specifically what he has). Tru has a lot of feelings about her and her brother growing up and growing apart. When they were kids, they had more in common and the felt more similar, but now that they're older, they're growing apart from each other. Eddie even says to Tru, "You used to be my twin, and now you're not."

Tru is a filmmaker and she wants to enter a home movie contest for the chance to get her movie shown on TV. She decides to do a movie about Eddie. On her first try, Tru does a science show in which she explains how Eddie's brain works from a neurological perspective, with no details about who Eddie is as a person or what it's like to live with him. Everyone is bored stiff. Then Tru's mom suggests that she make the movie more personal, more about who Eddie is and what life is like with Eddie on a day to day basis. Tru worries a lot about what people will think. Her feelings bounce back and forth a lot. One minute she absolutely has to win the contest and doesn't know what she'll do if she doesn't win, the next minute she's worried and upset about what will happen if she does win the contest - what everyone will say to her when they've seen the video and seen her reveal so much of herself. When she does win the contest, most of her classmates are very supportive.

This has always been one of my favorite Disney Channel movies. Funnily enough, I never actually saw it on TV when it came out - I came across it on YouTube in college. I watched this movie a lot during college, over and over again. It was comforting. I didn't know why at the time, but it made me feel not alone.

I get it now. I get what Tru was going through with her movie. I understand exactly why she first went for the technical science show about how Eddie's brain worked. I did the same thing. Having been a psychology major and having learned why behave the way they do, it's easy to hide behind big words and technical concepts that make what you're saying sound impersonal. As if we're just interested in psychology and neurology, not how these things actually affect us. And I get why Tru kept going back and forth with her feelings. It's hard. One minute it's like, "OMG this is the most important thing in the whole world I have to get this out there no matter what!" and the next it's like, "OMG what am doing? This is my diary and why the heck am I sharing it with the whole world? What are people gonna say?" I get it. That's why I always loved Tru Confessions and why I could relate to Tru so deeply.

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