Finn’s Girl, Ruby explores the theme of self-love. Kaplan, whose favorite movie is True Romance and who has ditched a career as a lawyer to pursue photography, keeps Madison at bay. A tortured artist to describe him in the least, he effortlessly remains an enigma—displaying only that tip of the iceberg—because, like many of us, he feels as though he has barely made it this far in life merely by tailoring himself to others.
By shaping ourselves around others, we feel desirable and interesting because, hell, if others were to discover the kind of person we believe or think we are, it’ll devastate us. We’ve convinced—maybe even duped—others to believe we’re hunky-dory most days, forthright in our disposition and even resilient when really, we talk around what we mean or allow ourselves to shatter once we get home to an empty apartment. Because once others learn how we operate, we’re afraid they’ll think we’re just like the rest of them—like vanilla, uninteresting, unlikeable, or disingenuous because we invited them to lump us into some category of species to which we’ll find insulting or untrue.
In turn, it accelerates from there. We know we’re a phony, pathetic even. Just like Kaplan, we’ll accept the type of “love” or any degree of attention we think we deserve, let it be isolation or self-hatred. When someone doles out a compliment to us, we find it glib or gratuitous. Since we dislike ourselves and feel as if there is this paragon of Us that we must be, we unfairly hold others to a high standard. Furthermore, we don’t allow ourselves to remove ourselves from unhealthy situations or thinking patterns because it’s become more comfortable for us to brood than to reorient our way of seeing.
Madison and Kaplan have this profound sense of viewing the world, which people fail to discuss or even have the capacity to understand. Their method of understanding or seeing is oftentimes nauseating with its many layers, which these characters don’t deplore getting sick and exhausted over. Because in the end, they always end up finding one another.
I like to think life can be more easily navigated if we just allow ourselves to be who we are—ghosts n all.