Sunday, December 27, 2009


I saw Up In The Air with Donnie tonight.
There are many people I know that typically like to qualify movies into one of four categories: happy, sad, action, or funny. Now, to suggest that these are the only four necessary genres to categorize films would obviously be silly, but nonetheless it generally gets the job done. Now for the most part, with these categorizations, we are defining what these movies do to us, right? When we all saw The Wedding Singer we dually categorized it as both happy and funny because it had an ending that made us truly glad for the characters, and yet also made us laugh (in my case, a lot) throughout. The Bourne Series, featuring Matt Damon, is a classic trilogy of action flicks because that's what it does to us; it gets our hearts going, stimulates us.
But what about Up In The Air? It's a movie that makes you ask why and how you classify a film, or anything for that matter... which is something that I think makes this particular movie very noteworthy.
Is it sad? Yes. But at what point does your assessment stop being about what happens to the characters and start being about what happens to you? For me, personally, this was a very happy experience. Yeah, George Clooney's character ends up with pretty much nothing. But it isn't really about him, so if you walk out of the theatre sad, then you haven't really been listening. Even George, as he narrates the end of the movie, seems to be telling you, the viewer of the films, you, the person who has what he does not, to be thankful, to take in his experience, his circumstance as a reason to be thankful for what you've got.

"The stars will wheel forth from their daytime hiding places; and one of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over."

He speaks directly to those who have a home, whether it be four walls or a wife and three kids that you consider to be home.
And I have always really loved that about some movies; that they have the power and willingness to address the fact that there are people watching these characters.
So this was a happy movie, a sad movie, a funny movie. But perhaps more importantly, it revealed to me that I am a happy person, a sad person. In left me introspective. Reluctant to speak of the movie, eager to think of myself, of "what is in my backpack."

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