Friday, November 14, 2008

The Fragility of Commitment

My new Thursday night ritual--once the little one is snuggly in her crib--is to watch a movie. I don't have to prepare for class. I give myself a break from grading. And, I don't have cable TV to distract me with tons of superfluous channels. Because we are so isolated up here in the way Northern part of the country, Netflix is the only way to survive. (There isn't even a video rental joint!)

Last night I watched a relatively recent film, directed by Helen Hunt entitled Then She Found Me. I chose the film because it had Colin Firth as one the main characters and looked like a nice melodrama. I can't help it. I like girlie films sometimes when I am burned out from lots of abstract thinking and arguing.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised by this gem of a film. What I loved most about was its realism in the case of human relationships. It did a great job depicting not only the giddiness of new love, the pull and attraction of the wrong lovers, the selfishness of our desires, and the fragility of commitments.

Having just written that list above, I guess other films touch on this. But, the moral of this film is that commitment is a sort of leap of faith. Here is some dialogue from the end of the film, when April (Helen Hunt) tries to get Frank back"

“I miss you, do you?”
“What do you want, April?”
“I want to look at you, for a long long time.”
“What else?”
“There’s a chance that my life may change in a few hours or may not. But it may. And before it does, I wanna say two things. I know what I did to you, to you in particular, was a nightmare kind of thing, right?…I knew that. Even at that time, I knew that.”
“What else?”
“I would do it again. I will. I will hurt you again and again. Not like that. You would have to leave me if I would hurt you like that. Even if we were together, you would leave me if I would hurt you like that again and wouldn’t you?”
“Yes. Yes. I would.”
“Good. But I would hurt you in other ways, little ways. I wouldn’t mean to. But I will. And sometimes I will mean to.”

“You would hurt me too, you know? You would hurt me and change on me. You might even leave me after you promise you won’t. How about that?”
“No, I wouldn’t.”
“But you might.”
“But I wouldn’t.”
“But…You might.”
“Yeah…I guess I might.”
“Oh, god.”
“I know. I am sorry.”

I guess I don't have a lot of smart things to say after that dialogue. For me, this is commitment.

How do the rest of you see it?

You can watch the trailer to the film with the link above.

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