Social Penetration Theory : Crazy, Love

1117 WordsSep 23, 20175 Pages
Maggie Decena Professor McNelis September 22nd, 2017 Application of Social Penetration Theory The film Crazy, Stupid, Love depicts the dissolution of Cal Weaver’s once perfect life. High school sweethearts living in a suburban town with steady jobs and kids, Cal and his wife Emily share the illusion of a picture-perfect love story. However, when Emily reveals her act of adultery, she asks Cal for a divorce. Cal falls into a deep depression that leads him to bask in his sorrows at singles bars, blabbering the story of his heartbreak. A middle-aged man out of the dating game for 20 years, Cal struggles to make any advancements in his social life. This all changes when Jacob Palmer, a young, attractive, ladies’ man, decides to take Cal…show more content…
They believe that “as people get to know each other, the layers get opened to reveal the core of the person” (Giri, 2009, p.192). Verbal self-disclosure is “sharing information such as personal history, preferences, attitudes, feelings, values, secrets, etc. with another person” and is noted as the main route to deep social penetration (Griffin et al., 2015, p.97). Therefore, putting your guard up when in a vulnerable situation will limit closeness between two people. The theory of social penetration can be applied when Jacob meets Hanna, who is revealed as Cal’s oldest daughter later in the film, at one of the bars he is a regular at. Although the first time they meet Hanna rejects Jacob’s sexual advances, she returns to the bar to find him and take him up on his previous offer. They reside in his house, and subsequently to his bedroom, yet the night does not play out as one would expect. Instead, the communication dynamics between Jacob and Hanna call for further examination. While things begin to advance between them, Hanna comments on the quality of his pillow, which leads them into a long conversation about each other’s lives. Revealing childhood memories, joking about Jacob’s wealth, and sharing personal stories, Jacob and Hanna reach roughly equal levels of openness and this begins the process of social penetration. This is an example of the breadth of the

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