I'm behind on movies. Its just the way it is. Finally this week I saw Up In The Air and Where The Wild Things Are. My girlfriend watched the first one with me because, you know, Clooney. And the kids and I watched the second together last night while my girlfriend was playing, you know, Bunco.
I'm not a professional film reviewer; that stuff's best left to gentlemen like Jeffery Overstreet - www.lookingcloser.org. I respond to movies as best I can, me and my drum, rum pa pum pum.
Both movies left me sad. Up In The Air left me bad-sad. Where The Wild Things Are left me good-sad. I realize those are the nuanced differences of a hyphen, but I'll try and explain. I'll refer to them from now on as Air and Wild.
Both movies touched, lightly and rumpusly, on the reality that living with people, in families or marriages or towns or whatever, well, its best captured by the quote from Wild: 'it's hard to be a family.' Clooney's character, Ryan, loves the un-tethered life of the airline terminals/frequent flyer miles. While he lobbies for the face to face experience of firing employees, it's just to maintain his rootless relationship to family or place. In and out, in and out, gotta keep moving. When an airline pilot asks him where he's from, Ryan hesitates a moment and says 'here' - meaning nowhere. There are moments where Ryan can choose to come down from his fences, but the desperado never comes to his senses. His prison is flying through this world all alone.
The main character in Wild, Max, initially loves the imaginary world of Carol and K.W. and co. It's a needed world based on the pain of his real home losing its king. However, Max gradually realizes that there's no such thing as a sadness-shield, something to keep all the sadness away. And we can try and build worlds where only what we want to happen happens, but those worlds crumble in time. In the end, Max decides to sail home, back to where the real wild things are, where something called love lives, in all of its dirt-cloded-rumpused frailty.
Air ends with Ryan's plane Peter-Panning high above the clouds. Wild ends at the kitchen table, with milk and chocolate cake and mom.
Bottom line John Blase takeaway:
It may be rainin', but there's a rainbow above you/
You better let somebody love you, before it's too late.