Have you ever seen a movie that became part of you after seeing it? I LOVE watching movies and my friends often joke that I only like the Hallmark and Disney movies where they lived happily ever after. Okay, so there is truth to that as those types of movies are the ones I often watch multiple times. However, I do like a variety of movies that pull at my heart strings with struggle, conflict and tragedy. And then they are are the ones that are a blended mixture. Yes, THAT movie, the one that becomes a part of you.
A good friend of mine is nearing her year anniversary with a great guy and at the beginning of the relationship she told me to stop ‘Hallmarking her life’ as I had jokingly had her married off and living ‘happily ever after’ shortly after they met. I think she didn’t want to jinx it. We were just talking about it the other day laughing about my silliness and seeing the ‘Hallmark/Disney’ side of life. It’s true, I focus on what’s going well, looking for the beauty in the mess and reminding myself and others that it’s our challenges that allow us to appreciate our victories at a deeper level. Then I started thinking, life IS similar to the Hallmark/Disney movies. Each of them have similar story lines whether it’s family oriented, romantic, or somewhere in between. They have characters going through the plot of the movie and at some point, in the story face a big conflict (for Hallmark it’s about 1:30 into a 2:00 movie), and then they come back around at the end seeing the beauty in life. Now I’ll grant you, that Hallmark is fluff and Disney better, but in truth – don’t we all go about living our stories, hit some struggles and eventually figure out a way back to happiness even if that happiness is completely different than where it began? At least we sure hope we reach the other side of struggle and sorrow.
And then you have ‘The movie’ that sits with you well after you’ve seen it. A movie that you want more as the credits roll. A movie that you can’t see life the same because it now lives in you. A movie that has heart and soul. A movie that has humor and despair. A movie that you wished you were at home watching on a DVR so you could pause, reflect, watch again, rewind, relive and remember EVERY powerful word spoken. That movie for me is Collateral Beauty.
I remember seeing previews for Collateral Beauty months ago, and although I don’t like wishing time away, I was over the moon excited to see the movie and Dec. 16, 2016 couldn’t come quick enough for me. As the date neared, my enthusiasm grew and grew. I began to be concerned that I had hyped the movie so much in my own head it couldn’t possibly live up to what I thought I would see. I have seen other movies that were overly hyped and I ended up being somewhat disappointed in them. I sure didn’t want that to be the case with Collateral Beauty! The cast: Will Smith, Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightly, Naomie Harris, Michael Pena and Jacob Latimore – so much talent it had to be good, right? I’ve seen other movies with top notch actors and yet I was disappointed as it simply never gelled for me.
I had already made plans to see it with a good friend on opening night and then other plans derailed it. Now I’d have to wait a few more days before I could see it! Then on the 7th I heard about a screening on the 8th and was given tickets to go. Within the first five minutes of the movie I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed as brilliance was unfolding in front of my eyes. Brilliance wrapped in humor, wrapped in deep grief, wrapped in interwoven connections that each word spoken began to take on a life of its own. I won’t go into much of the story line as truly it’s one to experience yourself. I will say the core theme was on Love, on Time, and on Death and the interwoven connection of all of them.
If you’ve been following me for some time, you know I often say life is beautifully messy, now I will see life as Collateral Beauty. Love is part of our celebrations and sorrows. Love is part of our laughter and our tears. Love is part of our birth and our death. Love is us.
Moving forward, I invite you to focus on the beauty in your life by:
Being in deep gratitude for all the goodness in your life from the smallest of things to the largest of things.
Seeking even the smallest hint of love when you are in deep pain as love is right there holding you.
Letting people know they matter to you as you never know what people are dealing with and your kind words may be just what is needed to bring them back to their truth of love.
Understanding the preciousness of life as each day may seem to be the same, but every day is different. Every moment offers you the opportunity to step deeper into love even if you feel that fear is closer and perhaps more comfortable.
Being courageous and living full out as you are so worthy of living boldly, loving deeply, laughing loudly, hugging intently, and smiling brightly.
Mostly, I highly encourage you to go see Collateral Beauty when it hits the theaters in your community. I know I’ll go again as for 90 minutes my story line and theirs were blended into a perfect union of seeing all the collateral beauty that surrounds us.
I see the love in my celebration and in my sorrow.
WORDS TO LIVE BY
Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another. – Ernest Hemingway
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. – Khalil Gibran
Life and death are illusions. We are in a constant state of transformation. – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
SOUNDS FOR THE SOUL