Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What would life have been like? (paca)

I was glancing over at -e's blog again today, re-reading her moview reviews of 2006. And she had this one:

Click - standard cautionary tale. Man sees what his life would be like if he doesn't change his ways.

I haven't seen Click, but from what -e says here I am guessing that if hero doesn't change his ways, things will be bad. If so, then, yes, it's very similar to other things like A Christmas Carol and, one of my favorite movies, period, It's a Wonderul Life. Each of those is different, but in all three there is something negative to be avoided.

So I was wondering, are there any movies or stories in which the protagonist doesn't see a bad life if they don't change, but is instead revealed an even better life if they do?

Maybe there are. There are a lot of stories where people catch glimpses of what having a family is like, or a partner, or some such, and they amend their ways to attain that goal. But I wonder if there's anything where the person is basically already happy, but someone shows them that they could be even more.

If so, and if they are good, feel free to leave a title in the comments.

Of course, always wondering if you could be better than you currently are could be a huge trap in one's life as well. Never satisfied, always wondering what else they should have been doing....


UPDATE: I was thinking more about A Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Life. So in one way, it's the same idea - life is / could be bad, but it's not too late for you. But in many ways, they are very different as well. I think the reason that It's a Wonderful Life is so loved by some and viewed as cheesy cornball by others is that it's so terribly life-affirming. What George learns from Clarence the Angel on Christmas Eve is not that he needs to change his ways, but in fact that he's been an amazing human being all along. He's always been doing the right thing, and, while his brother Harry achieves glory by shooting down a plain and saving a hundred lives in war, George has saved the lives of hundreds and hundreds more simply by working relentlessly to do right by others, mostly through the savings and loan. To be honest, I don't really know why I love It's a Wonderful Life. I just know that I cry like a baby whenever it gets to the final scene with all the friends and someone say "Mary did it; she did everything," or something close. "To my brother George, the richest man in town!" Gets me every. single. time.

1 comment:

-E said...

in click, it's independance day holiday week-end. sandler goes to bed bath and beyond in search of a univeral remote. he meets christopher walken, who turns out to be the angel of death, who gives him a remote that controls his universe. the remote allows him to fast forward through fights, colds and work, but then it starts fast forwarding everytime he get in a conflict or sick or up for a promotion. he ends up fast forwarded though his whole life, etc...