Posted by: ritagone | June 30, 2010

How Movies Touch Us

The other day my husband and I took two of our four grandchildren to see “Toy Story 3” after hearing many positive recommendations from friends (and also because we were desperately looking for something to do to keep a 10 year old girl and a 6 year old boy occupied for as long as possible while they were in our care).  There were about 20 of us in the theater in the middle of a weekday.  To my six year old grandson the 3-D glasses were even more fun than the movie; his main goal was to sneak out of the theater with the glasses still in his possession.  I don’t know what he thought he was going to do with them afterwards, but that’s another story, an illuminating insight into the mind of a 6-year-old boy.

Now, let me say that this is not particularly a movie for small children, because it’s one of those films in which the adult humor is mainly lost on the kids.  The “inside” jokes go right over their heads.  That being said, even little Aidan sat still and focused on the film.  He didn’t get antsy or ask for the snack bar.  It could be because he had a bag of popcorn as tall as he was, which occupied him and his mouth during the entire hour and a half of the movie.  I think the 10 year old was a bit bored, except for the Ken and Barbie sequences.  She’s into fairies and princesses, so Barbie was right up her pre-teen alley.

Michael and I, on the other hand, laughed outright.  Constantly.  The 3-D was fun too.  I’m a sucker for special effects, although I must confess that “Avatar” left me cold.  In “Toy Story,” when things came at me, I enjoyed ducking.  When toys fell, it was believable.  It was obvious that we were enjoying the movie immensely, as were the handful of other adults in the audience.

But during the movie I kept remembering how people who talked about it kept saying how much they cried, how moved they were.  Well, I was enjoying it, but I certainly wasn’t weeping.  What  in the world were they talking about?  This was enjoyable, this was fun, this was entertaining, but tear-producing?  Come on!

And then the last two minutes of the movie came!  I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it, but let me tell you: I fished around in my purse with my hand in the dark looking for a tissue, but if they had turned the lights on, I still wouldn’t have been able to find one, because my eyes were overflowing with tears.  The last piece of this movie is so moving, you feel that your heart is going to break.

Of course, the emotion was lost on a 6 -year -old and a 10- year -old who were pre-occupied with sticking their 3-D glasses under their shirts to escape the theater employees.  But Michael and I just sat there when the lights came up and looked at each other, smiled wanly, and forced ourselves to get up and get on with our lives.  It was a long time – well, about half an hour – before we were back to normal emotionally.

The movie calls up such strong common emotions:  what it means to grow older and move away from “childish things,” to leave behind the things that we loved and cherished for other – more mature — things, and what it feels like on both ends of those new relationships, for those who are leaving and those who are left behind.  It is about adjustments and understanding and moving on.  It is, pure and simple, about love and relationship and attachment and commitment, all the things we hold dear.  Like so many well-done films, it speaks to something in our very souls that echoes teachings of Scripture and truths of the Bible.

So see it, please.  Take a big bag of popcorn and a friend, someone you wouldn’t mind seeing you bawl like a baby.  And then spend some time talking about it and the emotions that it calls up when you’re finished watching it.

On another topic, we’re now weeks away from CONNECT.   I know for a fact that plans are in the works to bring together many exciting sessions and events to make this a time to remember.  There will be some surprises, some treats, some challenges, and most of all some great times together fellowshipping and sharing with one another in that special, once-a-year opportunity that CONNECT brings.

Until then, go see a movie and have a good cry.  There’s nothing like it for your inner well being.

 

Regards, Rita

 

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