"Stranger than Fiction"

I watched this movie on Sunday. I didn't know how to express what I thought about until today. Lemme explain (there are some spoiler below - beware!).

Through some random blog posting+linking, I found a post where a guy talks about his recent cancer diagnosis (which seems pretty severe). He has a wife and kids. Now, no matter what, I feel for this guy. Nobody wants to be in that position and I hope that he does get better. But here's the rub: he's a Christian. OK, that doesn't bother me, but he's asking for prayers to completely heal him. Um....so what happens if God doesn't heal you? I've seen my father die of cancer, literally. It's not pleasant; it fact it's downright ugly. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. But the fact is, we will all die. Whether it's within the next second or 50 years from now, it's going to happen. I don't blame the guy for wanting to live; I completely agree with him. I just don't understand the appeal to God. If you're healed, did God do it? And if not, is that what God intended anyway? Or was your faith not strong enough?

Which brings me (sort of) to the movie. I really liked the first 1/2 of it. I was hooked. However, the part where Will meets Emma (the author), it starts to rapidly fall apart. Think about it, if you knew you had some connection between the stories you write and real people....wouldn't you write it such that the person was able to figure out the cure for cancer, or designs an engine that's clean, runs on water, etc.? Emma has god-like powers at this point, and she doesn't use them at all. Damn, I would've been writing up solutions to the world's ills at that point. Screw writing a great story; write a story that would have a real impact on the world.

But there was one exchange between Will and Dustin that came back into my mind as I read about the guy with cancer. Will has met Emma. She wrote the ending on paper but hasn't typed it yet (supposedly that's the key to making it "real"). Dustin's read the story, and says it's amazing. But (of course!) Will doesn't want to die. Here Dustin makes a good point: we're all gonna die [1]. Even if Will didn't do what the story's ending says he's going to do, it's going to happen eventually, and the story's ending is very noble. (Again, a bit problem with the movie, he saves a kid from being hit by a bus, but does that kid end up doing great things? We never know. Maybe he ends up killing millions of people. And of course, Emma rewrites the ending so Will lives, ugh!). So Dustin says, whatever you choose, realize that you're going to die anyway, so start living your life with that idea in mind. That way, you'll start doing the things you always wanted to do, rather than saying "I'll get around to it".

OK, at this point I'm rambling. Here's my summary. I liked 1/2 of the movie (and Maggie is a lot cuter than I thought she was : ) ). The story has so much potential, and they ruined it at the end.

And with death....sometimes you don't get to go out the way you wanted to (or when you wanted to). There's no other way around that other than that's the way it is. It sounds insensitive, it sounds cruel...and it's the truth. It seems better to me to deal with that reality rather than find ways (any way) to ignore it in whatever. Now, I'm not saying the guy with cancer hasn't lived his life. I'm sure he has. And if I got his diagnosis, I think I'd panic for a while (e.g. "what about my family? what's going to happen to them? to me??"). It's just a reminder that life doesn't always work out as planned, so make the best of the time you have.

[1] Of course if I knew someone was writing a story about me and had the power to literally kill me off, I would find a way to stop them; just because I'm going to die at some point in my life doesn't mean I'm going to let someone finish their damn story to cause it to happen. Duh.

* Posted at 07.26.2007 10:34:27 AM CST | Link *

Blog History