Jennifer Lawrence is pretty much the cutest thing ever.
At 22, she has starred in two major franchises, one of which is expected to break the box office bank this year, has been nominated for two Academy Awards and took home her first last night for the critically acclaimed Silver Linings Playbook. Despite the fame and hype, she remains delightfully dorky, with witty comments like “I beat Meryl” and poses with her Oscar shooting the finger. Lawrence doesn’t take herself too seriously, which is good for the rest of us socially awkward weirdos.
Everyone was talking about Lawrence, but not because of her big win, but because while rushing to accept the highest honour of her field, she tripped over her huge Dior gown and fell flat on her face (something I would totally do). Yes, the top story was not about this young woman’s big moment, or even Daniel Day Lewis’s record breaking third trophy, it was that a girl fell down.
What shocked me during the show was that while the rest of the seasoned and polished actors sat stoically in their seats and tittled at Lawrence’s awkward fall, only Playbook co-star Bradley Cooper and Hugh Jackman rushed to the young woman’s aid, the former remaining on the steps until she reached the stage safely. Many bloggers and entertainment journalists were quick to downplay the actions of these two gentlemen, claiming that “it’s just what normal folks do” and “not a big deal.”
Well, the right thing to do IS a big deal.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend or a total stranger (Jackman and Lawrence had never met prior to this moment), being genuinely kind to another human being is a big deal. We so often downplay the acts of kindness that people bestow on us while holding on to the mean things and making them a big deal. Perhaps we should do it in reverse. There’s something to be said for chivalry, which seems lost on so many men (and women) these days and there’s something to be said for two Hollywood hunks jumping from their seats and running in their tuxedos to help a young woman to her feet. Yes, it was “the right thing to do” but they didn’t have to do it. There was security, any number of other actors, Lawrence managed to make it to her feet on her own, but they still instinctively thought to help her. Cooper remaining on the stairs while Jackman led the auditorium in a standing ovation was also sweet; they attempted to turn the moment around for her, and in a small way, they did as Lawrence thanked everyone for the applause in her quirky way.
Perhaps if we focused more on praising people for acts of kindness instead of blowing up misfortunes and who did what to wrong who on what day, we could all be a little bit happier. We all complain about the lack of human compassion in the world, but then we downplay acts of kindness as “No big deal” and “Why are we talking about it?” Meanwhile, an inappropriate joke made by the Onion will generate rage and attention long after the apology was issued. Perhaps we should take more time to talk up the things people do that are great, as in the long run, those acts of genuine kindness should hold more weight than the times we screwed up. I’m pretty sure Jennifer Lawrence would rather people talk about how nice these men were than continuously asking her how it felt to fall down.
Or maybe everyone was just jealous that she gets Bradley Cooper and Hugh Jackman helping her up while when we fall down, we just fall down.