Recently I went to see Disney/Pixar’s “Up” in 3D. Art wanted to see the 3D, but I felt really unsure because I haven’t seen a Pixar movie yet that didn’t make me cry and I was pretty sure “Up” would be no different. Why not cry in the comfort of your own home? Isn’t that one of the perks of buying all that assorted electronic equipment?
Art couldn’t understand . . “It’s just a movie.”
My first movie, "Defending Your Life," proves there is no such thing as “just a movie.” Forget that it is easily Albert Brooks' best comedy; I need to thank him and his movie right here publicly for helping change my life.
On one surface Daniel Miller (Brooks) is a schmo that you could almost dislike. All of his insecurities ride right along the surface of his skin . . .nothing is held back . . and like anybody who is so involved in his own insecurities, Daniel is a little self-centered. But just when the viewer might think Miller represents the worst of us, he sits down next to a guy who owned strip clubs while he was living and is obviously several rungs down the ladder. We realize Daniel Miller is just an average schmo.
He is any one of us.
But I get ahead of myself . . .I used the words “while he was living.” The movie is the story of Daniel Miller - ANY ONE OF US - who dies and discovers that the purpose of life is to become more intelligent and use more of your brain. The first thing we “little brains” need to do is overcome our fears, because that is what we waste so much brain power on. In the movie, when you die you face a court trial to “defend your life” or prove that you moved beyond your fears in your lifetime. If you don’t prove that you have overcome your fears, you are recycled and return to Earth; but if you do prove it, you “move forward, continue onward.”
Now the movie also has a wonderful love story and some very funny bits about past lifetimes and Miller’s insecurities and foibles, not to mention the brilliant Rip Torn as Daniel's Defense Attorney Bob Diamond, but it is this idea that only fear stands in our way that has meant so much to me.
It is “just a movie,” but watch it and the next time you realize you’re afraid to do something - picture having to defend not doing it against Lena Foster (Lee Grant) arguing that you were simply afraid. I’m not going to insist I’m ready to advance now, but it helped me overcome fears and I can prove it.
I was afraid to go see “Up” because I was afraid I was going to cry in the movie theater right? But I went anyway . . .
and I cried . . .
thank God for those 3D glasses . . . .