It’s hard for me
to watch movies about death. Maybe it’s my discomfort with the whole
inevitability, my mid-life phase, and chronic illness twisting my emotions into
denial. Our family lost a young father this summer, and the weight of sadness
hasn’t lifted much for his young widow and their kiddos.
But, I’m gonna
say, I like how this movie addresses the subject of death, and how it affects a
Most critics hated
this movie for the same reasons I loved it. You cannot put emotions into a box
and expect every single person to react the same way in serious situations. There
is no gold standard for receiving news of a terminal illness.
That’s why I appreciated
the message this movie gives to the audience through to the end.
I cried like a big
old baby for probably 30 of this productions’ 107 minutes. Almost half.
I don’t cry like I
used to, but, this movie brought those emotions out into the sunlight,
revealing my vulnerabilities and fears.
Yes, she’s a
feisty, free-spirit…but many twenty/thirty somethings are. Kate Hudson’s character, Marley
Corbett, is successful, fun-loving, and barricading her heart from love. Who hasn’t
let childhood influences control their emotional response as an adult?
Until she finds
out her time on earth is limited, and finally reveals to her just how important
love is. Marley finally makes love a verb, and it’s touching, raw, and reminded
me of feelings I’ve had in my audacious past. When life is reduced to sands in
the hourglass…(no soap opera pun intended). Some folks rush to fulfill what
others have a lifetime to achieve.
So, yes, attitudes
and behavior change rapidly, it’s logical, not just scripted. Some people move
to acceptance, and choose to finish their days in joy, rather than gloom.
cast includes names I’ve long enjoyed in other films. Kathy
Bates embraces her role as Marley’s mother, and reminded me in some ways of
my relationship with my own mom. In the end, we have more love than we can
Gael García Bernal is softly
convincing as the man she comes to love, who loves her in return. They know it
will end more quickly than it began, but, it makes it more meaningful somehow.