spirits that speak


Life is...

Just finished watching Stranger than Fiction for the 2nd time since it was released. I watched it with loved ones. Those I have come to enjoy spending time with the most. You know who you are (my wife is included, even though she went to bed early).

But seeing it again, I was left with the same feeling I had having seen it the 1st time...or a similar one. If you haven't seen it I would urge you to, just for the experience. It's not that complex. Very simple story about a very simple man who encounters the strangest situation that likely anyone you might talk to would ever experience. A narrator is dictating the very finest and most intimate details of Harold Crick's life and he eventually begins to hear her. Then, "little did he know", she very plainly announces his imminent death. Imagine his reaction.

My sister said she didn't feel like she had seen it for the 1st time tonight, although she had. She clarified that she felt like she pretty much knew almost the entire story based on the previews, and the rest fell together throughout the course of the movie (being predictable and all). You know what? She's right. There's nothing that suspenseful or tricky here. They revealed the crux of the story through ads and trailers. How could they not, given how simple it is? But I think there's more to it than just the story.

For me, this was a philosophically logical sequel to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. If you haven't read my thoughts on that, you can do so here (don't worry, it'll open in a new window...i'd hate you to leave this post in the middle of it ;-) . I'm not saying the story was similar, because it wasn't. Or even the characters, because they really weren't. But the messages they sent were very much 2 parts of the same philosophy.

Without giving away any of the story, because you really do need to see it, I'll say that it's very life affirming. It emphasizes all in life that we often take for granted that shouldn't be. Time spent with loved ones and with the activities that we most enjoy. This is the kind of relationship to our lives that I believe God wants us to have. No, the filmmakers wouldn't necessarily go in nearly that direction. But that's what I take away from it. There are these people and events in our lives that are extraordinary but are seen by many of us (not all) as ordinary on a daily basis. Actually, one of the people who genuinely do see them as what they are is also my sister (wish she saw that connection in the movie...yeah, i know you're reading this sis...). Then, after thinking about these things, for some reason Stranger than Fiction does for me become extraordinary and complex, with nuances that make me want to light a cigar and sit for 90 minutes to think about.

So, go. Get some Bavarian Sugar Cookies, invite some close friends and loved ones over, put the DVD in your player, and let the movie speak. What does your narrator say about your life???