Stu News and Photos

My name is Stu and I am here to share what I can.

Everyone has a few things that drive their passions, external "things" that draws their obsession, their ardor. Maybe you're into sports or music or ballet or knitting or electronics or woodworking or deep-sea diving. These things have a purpose, and that purpose is to heal. To wash away our sins, to medicate our souls, to heal us. To make us whole.

For me, it's cinema. The movies make me whole.

But why? What about the movies makes me feel the way I do?

I am in the middle of my latest rewatching of P. T. Anderson's Punch Drunk Love. It stars Adam Sandler and Emily Watson, who fall in love in front of our eyes. This is both painful and joyous, as they stumble over each other, emotions wreaking havoc. Like any real-life horror, I am torn, wanting to shield my eyes, and yet equally desirous of a wide-angle lens with which to take in every possible view. This film is one of those perfect films in that regard, one of the best awkward romance movies in the history of film.

And as I watch it, as I see Adam Sandler's character in the act of choosing to make a horrible mistake, I yearn to stop the action and run up to him and say, "No, don't, stop, come back!" And yet I can't. I am enfeebled, forced to watch helplessly as he screws up yet again.

He reminds me of me.

I think of my past at times, whether it's convenient or not. And some times I think of choices I've made, choices that were not in my best interest. Bone-headed, dim-bulbed choices. Dreadful choices. And there's that frustration, like popcorn husk in my teeth, as I ache to go back and fix it, to stop myself and make a different choice.

And I know that I can't, which makes it worse.

So what's this healing of which I speak? This is that moment, the moment in the film when we turn a corner and the good thing happens. The moment in the film when we see a glimpse of the great wide awesome, the wonderful world of It's All Working Out For The Best. And for films that carry this message, repeated viewing is so very nurturing, because we know that all the wrong turns and stumbles will bring them to this rapture, where Everything Works Out For The Best.

And as we watch, we identify with the main character, and we have a vicarious few hours, as we become them, and we get the great ending, where we get everything we want, where we win.

For me, the healing is when I realize that I too get everything I want, that in the end, I win. I have a wife that is the one I've been waiting for, the one the guy gets at the end of every truly great romance. And I know that if I'd made different choices, I might have missed out on this. So I know that each of my choices was, in fact, the right one, the perfect one, the choice that led me further on the path towards meeting Mrs. Right.

That's what the film Punch Drunk Love does for me. It gives me that healing satisfaction of having made all the right choices. Even if they didn't seem like terrific choices in the moment, they got me here. And that's a feeling worth having.


Suldog said...

It's a great realization to come to, Stu, and true for all of us. It's just that some of us see it and others don't.

David said...

Lovely, lovely, lovely. This is why I try to read everything you write, Stu. You are a brilliant writer. And your message is right on. Exactly how I feel...

-- Dave

Stu said...

Thanks, sincerely.