My wife and I went and saw “UP” on opening day. In 3-D no less. And I won’t fill this entry with all the reasons why Pixar is in a class by themselves, or why they are able to avoid the story stupidity and low-brow mimicry of typical studios. Suffice to say… they know how to tell a good story.
When it was over I found myself not just thinking about “Up” or Pixar, but my personal connection to movies. More specifically… why films can make me cry.
Yup. I cried multiple times during “Up”. Tears streaming down my face from behind Polarized 3D glasses. I have no doubt it was a hysterical photo-op now lost forever. I’m also sure that the 14 year old girl next to me must have thought I was the biggest pansy to ever grow to 6’3”. My wife even patted my hand at one point like I was a five-year old. I’m sure seeing me blubber at 3D animation made her want me like never before…
And I don’t care. I’ll see it again. Probably cry then too, no matter if it’s 2D, SD, or iPod. Once a film gets under my skin I can’t stop myself. The odd thing is; I was a kid with tantrums full of hysterical crying, but became an adult most people count on to be even keel with emotions in check.
Yet I cry at movies. Sometimes TV shows if they catch the right nerve.
More specifically, it’s about theme. The same themes get me every time. My five favorite films all have the same basic theme. In fact, if you told me your five favorite films I’d bet they all share a common theme. For some of you we’ve talked about this before and you know it’s true.
“Up” happens to have the core theme of many of my favorites: One man who sets out to achieve a singular and personal goal only to improve others along the way. Or, if you prefer: A lead character who improves the lives of others just by being true to themselves.
When the credits roll on my life, I hope that theme proves true of me. I don’t know if I’ll achieve it, but I wouldn’t have been able to put my finger on that concept without seeing it in film. That’s the power of movies. We see worlds we want to live in. The kinds of people we want to be. We can feel, and live, and experience without the worries of cost, or danger, or the social and political repercussions of it all.
Or in my case: Cry like a kid who just dropped his ice-cream.