I try to not blog about a movie, but this one is worth talking about. I will not give it a full blown review, if you would like read my review, please go to Dinner and Movie and take a look. Here is the web site:
The movie is by any reasonable definition a chick flick, or a drag along movie, (drag along means one gender drags the other to the movie). First let me say I really liked the movie and I usually have an aversion to the chick flick category (Don’t get me started on the awful “sex in the city” movies). So what makes this one different? Some know that about this time last year (December 6, 2012) I lost my dad due to cancer. Frankly the reason the movie got me is because of the illustration of male to male relationships. Definitely not something I expected when I went.
So a bit about the backdrop of why this touched me so much. My dad and I were never very close until after my mom passed. Up until that time the family dynamic was set up so my dad and I were singularly focused on one thing, my mom. Mom was very ill for so long that her illness became our narrative. When we talked we talked about mom. When we related it was about mom, when we truly disagreed it was about mom. I know that may seem odd, but dad and I operated basically this way for about 25 years before mom’s death.
Mom was ill as a result of diabetes. She had multiple complications, kidney failure, neuropathy, and blindness. She had so many blood transfusions, and came so close to death so many times, I cannot even count them. True her disease robbed her of her life. But in a way it robbed something else as well. It robbed two men, my dad and I, of a closer relationship. Mom was usually at IU med, some 60 miles from our house. My dad worked at a factory all day, left work, drove to Indianapolis to be with mom, came home and dropped in bed exhausted, only to get up the next day and go again.
My job was to stay out of trouble, go to school and make my way without difficulty. That started in late elementary and lasted through college. There were times when mom was home and reasonably well, but the entire family was always on edge. We knew she could go any day and we were told often she would not make it. So yes dad and I lost much and yes I would like very much to reclaim some of what was lost. But in a way in the 1960’s and 70’s that was what diabetes was. It was the slow destruction of a person and those around them.
Mom would often remind both of us we had to learn to get along trust each other and learn to rely on each other. We did that in a small way during the two weeks before my mom’s death, but we still were not ‘friends’. That eventually changed, and interestingly enough it changed because of two other men, my two sons.
One other thing my dad and I had in common was the unconditional love of my children. For the most part friction between he and I slowly subsided as my sons grew. I think it interesting that no matter any frustration we felt between each other we always seemed to solve our friction by discussing someone else, first my mom then my sons.
So back to the movie, a main part of this movie was about male to male relationships, in particular about father and son relationships. When I watched it I forgot about the movie and instead thought of my father and me. As the story goes there is the possibility of time travel and performing that time travel can fix relationships. The main character proclaims he will use time travel for love. It is unexpected, at least to me, that love included his father.
So what would we do if we had the ability to do time travel? I would go back before my diabetes and live life bigger, much bigger. One thing I would do is try to strengthen my relationship with my dad. When Dad passed, I lost something that together we had developed. Namely a good (not great) relationship between us. As I watched that movie I thought of the years my dad and I had missed and it was sometimes difficult to see that time reflected back to me.
I suppose the real message is to make the best you can with the relationships you have as they developed. I admit to a few tears, not because of the movie, rather because I realized how much I missed my dad. True my dad was never going to be my best buddy. After all he was my parent. But I also know I missed so much of my dad and while we turned back time after mom passed, we also lost so much.
As we relive those situations today I am glad that most of us do not have to live like that. Because of better management most of us will never live that type of life. Still as I think about all of it I realize one thing, it is ‘About Time’.