Friday, March 31, 2006

Failure to Launch from Elizabethtown

"Chic Flicks"? These are not. They came out in different years but we just saw them both recently. They resonated with me on several levels both by contrast and comparison. I identified with parts of both of them and they made me think about how my life has proceeded or will cease to proceed. They are both comedies with provocative undertones.

Having had four sons and being one myself I know the importance of "launching". Career and/or "a life's work" is so important to us males. Our identity is so imbedded in what we do...successfully; especially when we do it "on our own" independent from our supportive parents or family group. There are always varying degrees of this rite of passage which is also very "ideo-specific"(new word?) to each child within the family group. What they need or don't need, when, is so important. Then there is the ever-present possibility of "launch and re-launch" and how many times that needs to happen. One almost needs the "wisdom of Solomon" to know what is right and what is "co-dependency" And, of course, there is also the temptation to judge what was or has to be done and the guilt that then comes from that. This movie thoroughly gets into all that in a humorous way. Yes, one of the few, lately, where I actually laughed out loud. I'm not a big fan of Sarah Jessica, she's a good actor but just not that appealing to me. Betty, on the other hand, seems to simply drool over Mathew Mc...I wonder why. "The Sexiest Man...Alive!" (he hastens to point out) Actually I kind of like the look and humor of the supporting actress whose name escapes me right now...those eyes. Anyway, it features a very "successful" son who just doesn't want to leave the sphere/influence of his "ever-loving parents" and they go about severing that connection the wrong way. Complications ensue, needless to say. It is also not wanting to "launch" from "his buddies" and that appealing "bachelor way of life", ie. no commitments, responsibilities etc. Parenthood takes care of that, in spades. It probably all goes back to "potty training".

Then you have the "lead"(protagonist) Orlando, in Elizabethtown, who maybe launched too soon and/or is a collosal the tune of 1 billion dollars. He is interrupted in his attempt to commit suicide (darkly comedic) by the bad news that his father had died. He has to go and bring his body back from his hometown after cremation. On the way he meets a very special stewardess. He finds out that he maybe didn't really know his father and his "former life" and that his values might need some adjusting. What has become important to him maybe isn't all that important in the overall scheme of things. I especially related to this movie because of the location. I don't know if there really is an "Elizabethtown", Ky. but I'm convinced I've been there. My dad took me back to "Wallinscreek", Ky. when I was a kid. I loved it. I got to go barefoot the whole time (two-three weeks) and came back speaking with that distinctive twang. I met some of his family and got to know their values. Front porches were big as were fireflies and a weed called "life everlasting". Fried chickin' and bisquits were uniquely special. The featherbed enveloped you. The train we used to travel to and fro had many stops along the way and many people to observe and converse with. These are values and memories I treasure somewhere between "launching" and "being launched" in the wind. In the meantime, I'll continue to Bob!


At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is an Elizabethtown, KY. We live about 30 miles from there.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

Thanks for reading my blog. I have fond memories of eastern Kentucky and my ancestors there. Is it anywhere near Wallenscreek? Bob


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