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I just watched a lovely romantic drama called Amira & Sam, because I have a crush on Martin Starr. It's a really sweet movie about a guy who just got out of the army, and the firecracker niece of his interpreter in Afghanistan. She keeps her head covered, but she's not very religious. Or if she is, she's not good at it. They say she left Iraq because it wasn't safe for her family there; I think it's because she was always too American to stay. He's trying to readjust to American life, to his family and what they expect from him. This is the story of a week or so that they spend together, and it is the most relateable romantic drama I've seen in a very long time. There's one scene that I know everyone who's stayed the night in a friend's dorm has surely lived. It's great.

As for Martin Starr, I did not mean to have a crush, but I do. It started after he was in a dream I had. I'd been watching Party Down all day, and Roman is not someone I'd go for. Have you seen it? He's so obnoxious and thinks he's smarter than everyone else ever and loves "hard sci-fi," while abhorring fantasy. He looks down his nose at everyone, yet he works as a cater-waiter with a bunch of slackers. I knew many versions of That Guy, and generally avoided them. He was background. My subconscious thought otherwise. I forget what the dream was about, but in it I was stopped for a minute in an intersection (I think). I looked up to see Martin Starr dressed in a tuxedo, walking across the road from right to left, on his way someplace fancy. His hair was combed back so you could see his face, and suddenly I noticed that he wasn't that bad-looking.


I really should talk to a therapist about this. This is the sort of reaction you're supposed to have when seeing childhood friends differently. Noticing they're grown ups. Feeling...feelings. Not strangers you will likely never meet.

But since that dream, I've followed his career—mostly because Roman is hilarious and thoughtful and great, and Starr strikes me as the kind of actor who's not ridiculous or obnoxious. I'm rooting for him to find success. I have not watched Silicon Valley (because it's not streaming) but I'm sort of looking forward to its legendary dick joke—which is a biiiig deal for me. He's great at the too-smart nerdy-friend roles, and I'm very happy he's got a romantic lead role, even if it's in a quiet indie. I definitely recommend the film.

Who else has unconventional crushes? Guilty crushes? People that you're like, "what IS it about this person?? Why them?" but you still want to see them, watch them tell you stories. Actors, news broadcasters, whatever. Do share!


Or have you seen a good romance movie that's different or interesting in a unique way lately? Because I'd love to add some of those to my viewing list.

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