Monday, June 15, 2009

Up! left me feeling down :-(

For anyone who hasn't seen the recent Pixar film "Up!", you may want to refrain from reading this. I don't plan to give the entire plot line away, but I will probably go a little farther than most care to know, if you still have plans to see it. Just know that if you are dealing with infertility issues, this movie WILL hit home. I had heard about there being "something" in the movie, but wasn't prepared to the degree I needed to be. Honestly, I don't know if I could have prepared myself.

Ok. Nough said. Stop reading if you don't want to know details :)

Now, down to business. First, I should say that I am madly in love with Pixar films - Finding Nemo, Toy Story I & II, Monster's Inc., The Incredibles, WallE.... I'm sure there are more than I'm leaving out. Point is, I am dedicated. If you took a look at our small library of DVDs at home, you'd swear an 8 year old lived in our home. I get lost in some of those movies, I really and truly do.

I never saw it coming
When I saw Up! advertised a year or so ago, I was sold. They never did reveal much of the story line in commercials. The plot I gathered based on previews was that a crotchety old man ties balloons to his house, floats up in the air with a boy on his porch and then they go on a jungle adventure together"... yes - this is what I thought I was going to see. A treasured story about the old and the young at heart relating to each other and teaching one another life's important lessons. Sounds like something Pixar would do, right?

Instead they spend what has to be about 20-30 minutes at the beginning of the movie getting you invested in the characters as children, follow them through to a very loving, happy marriage into a time when they begin planning and getting excited for a baby to a point when... drum roll please... the wife is in tears sitting on a table in the infertility or OBGYN clinic. When they go back home, they take down all of the baby things and paint over the walls in the baby room. It's over for them. A dream is gone. They are infertile.

Seriously. This is what I paid $11.50 to see in 3D no less. Needless to say, I am curled up in my seat crying my eyes out at a kids movie. How fantastic is that.

From this point on, I was hoping things would get better. After all, it is a kids movie.
I guess at this point all the writers could thing of was to give the couple in the story a "new" dream. Which, whatever, that's fine. I mean some people do chose a life without children after learning they're infertile. Fair enough. Personally, I really would have loved to see them incorporate adoption into this story. Seemed like a wonderful opportunity to address a topic that is otherwise fairly untouched in children's movies. As an added bonus, some of us, including myself, would have been inspired and shown once again that there really IS more than one path to a child.

Sigh. Sadly, that is not the direction the movie took. Instead, the couple decided to set their sights on saving up one day moving to their dream hideaway -- Paradise Falls. For a moment, they're happy again. They have a poster of this wonderful place with their house sitting high atop the majestic peak. Every day they walk past a piggy bank, saving up for the day that their dream becomes reality. But, one thing after another breaks and they continue to dip into their savings, slowly watching their dream fade away. Then - his wife dies.

Yes, she dies!

Of course, my heart is breaking in two by now. To have never experienced sharing the love of a child together. The love of his life dying, leaving him all alone with dreams and hopes never achieved. At this point, I nearly walked out of the movie. Again, though, I'm thinking "It's a freakin kids movie - there HAS to be a silver lining." There is ALWAYS a sliver lining, that's why I LOVE these films in the first place.

Reality is good, but come on!
This is the point where I pause and say how much I fully appreciate when there is a touch of reality, even in the rated G. For most, where else would they learn about harsh realities of life. (Not that I think it's right, but for a lot of kids this is probably the first place they come into contact with things like this.) For instance, I am in love with Finding Nemo for this exact reason. They do a wonderful job of taking the audience full circle - with the death of Nemo's mother to his lost adventure at sea and the bond that's created with his dad. Oh and who could forget Nemo's "little fin" - a perfect way to say we all have our "handicaps" in life, but it's what you make of it and how you choose to treat others with those disabilities. I'm sure I'm telling you stuff you already know. Forgive me, I'm on a roll!

Point being, I can't help but feel they took this way too far. Yes, if you stick it out, you will see that there is a silver lining to all of the doom and gloom but, from my theater seat, I couldn't see past all of the tears to really connect with that. I'm being honest when I say that when it finally got to scenes where they were making jokes, I really and truly didn't feel like smiling.

The mass of humanity will never understand
As some "genius" so eloquently put it on, "Practically perfect in every way, this is Pixar's most uplifting adventure yet!" Are you freakin kidding me! I guess he thought it was a devilishly clever play on words. I can just hear him explaining to his friends now "Get it, get it - "Up" "U-P-lifting adventure" - OMG that is soooo great!" Gold star, genius. Just beautiful. The problem is, that seems to be the general consensus so far. This movie has gone over so well with the general public because most of them are fertile. They don't know what it's like to experience the thought that they may never have kids of their own one day and what it means to live with that hanging in the balance.

I guess that's what I hated about this movie. It stirred up this concept that I try so hard to forget and brought it to life. Even worse, it ripped apart the love this couple shared for each other - the one thing that keeps me going through this. That totally, totally sucked. I can't say that I see myself buying this one. It would just be too hard to swallow a second time, even if we DO get pregnant in August. I'll save myself the $25 and put it towards IVF for baby #2!

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Jess June 16, 2009 at 11:09 AM  

That sounds like a crap happy ending at all! I love kid movies too! When Marley and me came out, I thought sweet (it is a kid movie that I could take my cousins too). I didn't read the book, so in my mind I see a sweet cuddly dog who is a terror and imagine it being a kid movie...I was wrong! I don't know if you watched it or not or read the book, so I'm not going to spoil it with you. But there is a part in the movie that I will never forget and I was sobbing through the rest of the movie. I don't know what my point is anymore, lol, but the movie brought my husband and I closer and he now comes to all my drs appointments.

I try to make a point to read up on blogger friends so that I don't say something incensitive becuase I didn't know and I truly care. I feel closer to you girls at times than my own friends and I lately I can relate with you more than them. I love my friends but to them it is "you just need to relax and it will happen." After four years and four miscarriages, you would have thought I would have relaxed once...I can't be that uptight!

About my post of my student who died-thank you for your comment. Like you, I love comments too!

Anyways, I wrote enough. Sorry the movie made you sad!

Anonymous June 16, 2009 at 12:19 PM  

Dear God...I would have been in tears too!! not that it takes that long mind you,lol, but that movie sounds like a they wake up and it's all a bad dream? And what were the children doing? no crying at all?? I find that in a lot of children's movies there is someone who dies, mostly the mother. But truly and thankfully that's not the norm! Don't be feeling down petal, as you say, just save the money for baby number two! Love, Fran

Clare June 16, 2009 at 2:39 PM  

After reading your post I'm in two minds about seeing it now. I read Mel's post over at Stirrup Queens, and she really liked how they dealt with the whole IF issue. I was interested in seeing it just for this... maybe if you know it's coming it's not so bad - i can imagine how much of a shock it would be if you were expecting some fun, light entertainment. Either way I think I'll be crying if I watch it too!

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