I saw this old movie this last week and thought I’d share some thoughts about it. Have you seen it? (warning: some spoilers below)
I’m not terribly crazy about this movie, especially because it almost tries to justify cheating. Everyone actual becomes friends in the end. Really?! Are you freakin’ kidding me? In real life, it’s messy, and ties are broken. There are painful and irrevocable consequences to cheating. This movie talks about how we can’t blame people for falling in love. I agree with that, but I think that you can always make a clean break before you get involved with someone else.
What I do like:
Bradley Smith played by Greg Kinnear:
He gets cheated on twice, by both his first and second wife but still doesn’t give up on love. He still remains an optimist. He refuses to give up the belief that love is
“everything. The only meaning there is to this crazy dream we’re all trapped in,”
even when his second wife believed that,
“love was just a trick nature played on us, just a way of bringing more screaming babies into the world.”
He got really depressed after being cheated on twice, but he didn’t get bitter.
Finally, after two heartbreaks, he finds Margaret, who believes the same way about love and gives him back the love that he was giving all a long:
Bradley Smith: What’s making you smile like that?
Margaret Vekashi: Looking out the window, an unusual man, an innocent man, an open-hearted man. Someone who has given tremendous love, but never had it returned, not in the way he deserves.
Harry Stevenson played by Morgan Freeman:
He is insightful, telling Bradley,
“We have our illusions about people, our hopes, and they can blind us, but the end is always right there in the beginning.”
The friendship between Harry and Bradley:
Usually it was Harry giving sage advice to Bradley, but at the end Bradley lifts him up when he is feeling low:
[Bradley and Harry are sitting on the bench by the football field reminiscing of the past year and a half]
Harry Stevenson: God is either dead or he despises us.
Bradley Smith: You don’t really believe that.
Harry Stevenson: Maybe. I saw the most remarkable thing just now. I wandered into the stadium, I thought I was alone but down on the 50-yard line there was a couple making love. I watched for longer then I should have. I was envious. And then I felt sorry for them. There’s so much they don’t know. Heartbreak they can’t even imagine.
Bradley Smith: [sighs] Well, even if they knew, it wouldn’t change anything.
Harry Stevenson: How so?
Bradley Smith: Well, Chloe knew what was gonna happen to Oscar.
Harry Stevenson: What do you mean she knew?
Bradley Smith: She did. She went to some psychic lady who predicted the whole thing.
Harry Stevenson: She believed her?
Bradley Smith: Yes, Harry. She did. And she didn’t run away. She didn’t crawl into a hole. She found them a house, she threw away her birth control, and she married him. God doesn’t hate us, Harry. If he did, he wouldn’t have made our hearts so brave.
Esther, Harry’s Wife:
So beautiful and graceful. This is the conversation between them in a private, touching moment in the movie: (They had both been grieving the death of their son over the last year)
It’s been lonely for you, I know.
And I’m sorry.
There’s just the two of us now.
One day, there’ll only be one of us.
It’s an unbearable prospect.
That’s why we have to love each other as hard as we can now,
while we still have the chance.
I love you.
Don’t marry the guy just because he has great qualities. You have to LOVE him.
David is cheating on his wife and asking his mistress, Diana, why she wants to marry Bradley:
David: What do you see in this guy?
Diana: Well, he’s not stupid, or inconsiderate.
He’s not obnoxious, or violent,
or boring, or annoying.
He’s not a bad dresser, he’s not unemployed,
and he is not unhandsome, either.
An absence of disqualifiers is a rare and beautiful thing.
Oh, and did I mention? He’s not married, either.
When you speak of the one you are going to marry, it shouldn’t be full of he’s “not” this, not that. It should be full of, he “is” this. He “is” that. And I love him.
If you have parents who are violent, unstable, unreliable, in and out of your life, or deceased, find new ones.
Everyone could use a good fatherly figure and a good mentor. Sometimes life hands you two ill-prepared parental figures. That’s okay. You are starving for that parental figure, and I guarantee you, you can find an older couple or an elderly person who’s craving to have that role.
I love how Chloe actually asked Harry to be her father. How brave of her!
Chloe: Hey, I’m gonna ask you a question, okay?
Harry: All right.
Chloe: Oscar and me really need parents.
Mine are dead, and Oscar’s only got the Bat.
Would you and Esther adopt us?
You know, unofficially.
That’s cool. You need time. Just think about it.
At the end of the movie, after Chloe’s husband dies, Harry finally answers her question:
You asked me if Esther and I would be your parents.
I thought you were just being kind to an old man
after I told you about the death of my son,
so I didn’t answer.
And I didn’t know that you already knew that terrible things were going to happen.
Esther and I want you to come and live with us.
Be our little girl.
Please say yes.
Esther and I will give you and your baby all the love we have left to give.
Let’s go home.
That’s the part of the movie where I lost it and was sobbing hysterically!