I recently discovered the most wonderful movie.
Okay, there were probably a few people who knew about it before me, but I am so glad I stumbled across it, sneakily rented it on-demand (getting a text from the Nearly Perfect Husband, wondering what movie I rented, almost immediately after hitting the ‘ok’ button on my remote control to purchase it. Who knew he set up automatic e-mails from Verizon to track my movie rentals? Not me, that’s not who (so I purchased it immediately, as a form of civil disobedience)).
Since I’ve ‘owned’ it, I’ve played it a lot (and not just because I want to prove to the Nearly Perfect Husband that it was actually a value to purchase it, vs. rent it over and over again). I’ve played it in the foreground (watching it on purpose) and in the background (just having it play as a backdrop to my comings and goings and writings and livings).
Thinking of yesterday’s post, I put it on again early this morning.
Just so you know, I will spoil it for you here, because I want to write about ‘me’ as inspired by ‘it’. So if you don’t want to know anything about it. Don’t read on.
Except you should probably keep reading for ten more words, to(1) find(2) out(3) that(4) the(5) movie(6) is(7) called(8) About(9) Time(10).
Ready? Set? Stop reading if you want to watch the movie first.
Pause for your consideration.
And plus if you are reading on, I can say that I love it each time I see it even though I know what will happen next, so you will probably be okay if you read on and then watch it after. Just sayin’.
So why do I love this movie? Well, aside from the fact that one character motions the intent to stick a fork in her eye (one of my favorite self-mutilative threats), and that – at one point – the main character references his ‘extraordinary, ordinary life’ (I once wrote that I live an ordinary life, that is extraordinary to me, so clearly the human that wrote the screenplay is some sort of literary soul mate), and the british accents and beautiful piano-based-mixed-with-cool-songs soundtrack… aside from those things and a few others, I love it for its surprising take on time travel.
Did you just sigh and think you should change the blog channel so that you could go off and read about something non-science-fiction? Oh stoppit! I said “its surprising take on time travel”. Gimme a sec.
On his twenty-first birthday, the main character is told by his father (oh, I would so want this version of Bill Nighy as my father in real life) that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel in time. Once proven, the Dad and his son discuss what this gift could mean.
Nope. Dad poo poos that idea. Others have gone in that direction and the outcome was not good.
A better haircut.
And eventually they come to ‘love’. And the son admits that it was always going to be about love for him. Unfortunately, he finds that ‘all the time travel in the world cannot make someone fall in love with you’. That being said, it helps cement the deal in some pretty cute and funny ways. And eventually he gets the girl (Rachel McAdams, making the Nearly Perfect Husband sad because he thinks he could love her). But that’s not the end.
The themes in this movie touch on the ideas of love, true friendship (even with difficult people), family, and paying attention (a theme in my head this past 24 hours, I know), and it is not all easy or without serious life stuff happening.
After some time, the father shares his secret, of using time travel to uncover the joy and magic of everyday life.
He tells his son to live each day, with its frustrations and stresses and bothers.
And then, he tells him to go back. To live each day again. Noticing.
Paying attention to every small and big good thing.
A smile from a woman selling sandwiches.
The beauty of the courthouse he works in each day.
Taking a minute to make another feel better, in a bad situation.
The small ways that his wife shows him she loves him.
His kids at the breakfast table – their smiles as they make a mess he will have to clean up later, even if he doesn’t have the time.
And by the end, he realizes that he doesn’t even need to live each day twice. He doesn’t really travel in time any more, at all.
He’s figured it out.
He lives each day, as if he is living it again.
And he realizes that his extraordinary time travel-y life isn’t the point.
It’s his ordinary life that is extraordinary.
Just like mine.
Just like everyone else’s.
If we just pay attention.
Thanks for readin’.
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