Love & Sex

What Sofia Coppola Taught Me About Love

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The best way to get someone to fall in love with you is to never leave your attic.


Today is Sofia Coppola’s 42nd birthday. I don’t really watch movies (I’ve never seen The Matrix and I’ve never failed to fall asleep during a Wes Anderson flick) but Sofia Coppola did fill up a good amount of my high school hours. Like six, at least. So to pay tribute to the woman responsible for taking care of me for six highly formative hours, I’ve compiled a list of how Coppola and her movies have shaped my idea of love, crushes, and having sex on a roof. 

1. Mystery and unattainability is sexy
Coppola’s 1999 effort, The Virgin Suicides, is centered around the mystery surrounding a group of five sisters. Ok, yes, this is a movie based on a book, so we could also give Jeffrey Eugenides credit for this life advice, but Coppola's movie focuses more intensely on the sexual tension between the girls and their neighbors. Four boys watch the girls from across the street, only speaking to them through records and light signals. Even before they meet the Lisbon sisters, the boys have already developed the kind of all-consuming crushes that usually only happen when you can create an idealized version of someone in your mind. 

2. Spice up your sex life with new locations
In addition to being mysteriously alluring, the Lisbon sisters also have a talent for spicing up the Bone Zone by switching up locations. Luxury hotels and showers? Nah, more like the football field after Homecoming and the roof of your parents’ house. 

3. There are times when it's ok to avoid politics
When Coppola met with Antonia Frasier to discuss turning her Marie Antoinette biography into a movie, Coppola asked, “Would it matter if I leave out the politics?” to which Frasier responded, “Marie Antoinette would have adored that.” Now, I’m not really a member of the sect that says you have to avoid talking politics on dates, but I do think you should avoid it mid-coitus. I’m not going to tell you if this has ever happened to me. 

4. It’s okay to use pet names, sometimes
When Coppola began her acting career, she took up the stage name “Domino” because—well, I don’t know if there was really a reason, but she did. Look, what I’m saying is, you want me to call you Tongue Ninja when we fuck? Fine. Just maybe keep it off my Facebook, idiots. 

5. Fire alarms don't always signal impending doom

This one I picked up from Lost in Translation. Bill Murray’s in this movie, so I don’t remember a lot of the plot because who needs plots when you’ve got Bill Groundhog Day Ghostbustin’ Ass Murray. I do know that Bill Murray falls in love with Scarlett Johansson, but then he sleeps with someone else and all seems lost. BUT THEN a middle-of-the-night fire alarm at their shared hotel brings them back together. And everything is beautiful. Until Bill Murray leaves Tokyo forever and they never see each other again.