Saturday, September 11, 2004

Garden State

The boy threw up again at 9:35 PM last night, but since then has been able to hold down liquids and a specified amounts of prescribed solids. He was energetic and seemed on the mend. The lovely wife went to a race with toddler girl while I stayed with the boy. The toddler girl watched the race with the lovely wife's dear friend, while the lovely wife ran the race. Then after lunch the miraculous college student arrived and watched both kids while my lovely wife and I went to a movie. We selected randomly with an important rejection subroutine (ignore movies that look like they are about deamons, sharks, people shooting people, or video games), which left only one choice: Garden State. The ending of which I now intend to give away.

Based on the online overview, I would never choose to see this movie. But it turned out to be good, for a piece of fluff. (A piece of fluff, in my view, is any movie about people's life choices and feelings. Or about young people.) So on the one hand it was a light comedy about young people's quests, but on the other hand it was about the value of life. The movie starts with a plane crash, and at one notable point some character says more or less that life may hurt sometimes, but it's all we have, implying that we might as well appreciate it.

This is something I knew long before I was diagnosed with ALS. But I do have to say that it adds a certain bouquet to seeing movies about people confronting death and loss and battling their way towards inspiration, when you yourself have been diagnosed with a fatal, incurable disease.

Not that it made me sniffly or anything. When the boy and the girl both wound up in the neurologist's office, and he had his MRI, I was kinda hoping one of them would wind up with a glioma. Glioma is something serious and tragic that I have never had to face, and am glad I don't, so I shouldn't joke about it. But people in movies don't get ALS. So I set my sights on something more likely.

No, the scene that had me sniffly was where the boy (now 26) talks to his dad. Because I was thinking how my own son, when grown, is going to be smart, forceful, forthright, and no one you can talk around or talk down. I was picturing my son laying down the law to me, and thinking that, even if I were arguing with him, my main reaction would be how impressed by him I was and how much I loved him.

There was another quote in the movie about making families, and that made me want to get home and see my son and my amazing daughter.

The movie had set up the plane-crash ending, and I must say that it would have been a better film and more true to the message if they had let the plane crash. Instead, he gets off the plane and we have a happy ending as he goes back to the girl.
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by