Defending Your Life – A Comedy with Some Important Life Lessons
I have a fun movie for you all this week. It's called "Defending Your Life", and it was written and directed by Albert Brooks.
It's a comedy, but it really does contain some important life lessons. My husband and I both really enjoyed this movie. At the beginning of the movie, Albert Brooks' character Daniel dies, and he is transported to a place called Judgment City, where his life is put on trial. The trial is complete with a Prosecutor, Defense Attorney and two judges who will decide his fate. The Prosecutor shows clips of his life to prove that he's failed (poor Daniel – the prosecutor has a lot to use against him), and his defense attorney shows episodes to defend his life. To make matters worse, he meets the lovely Julia (played by Meryl Streep), who is having a wonderful time because her trial is going really well. There's a bit of a love story there, too. So, if you're looking for something good to watch this weekend, give this a try. It's a funny, heart touching movie with important life lessons, all in one (my favorite kind of movie).
SPOILER ALERT – I'm going to talk about the movie now – so if you'd rather watch it first, stop reading here ;)!
There were several things that struck me about the movie (ya know, little take away things to ponder ;)!
1. Distracted driving is dangerous - so we really should just say "No" to that!
2. It was intriguing to me that the single issue at the trial was whether Daniel had overcome fear in his life. And, as the movie progresses, it becomes clear just why overcoming fear in our lives is so important. It's critical because fear is the thing that keeps us from all of the good stuff in life - the love, the joy, the peace - all the things we really care about.
3. My favorite scene in the movie is when Julia and Daniel are having dinner, because you get to see so clearly how much fear is hampering Daniel's life, and how, having overcome it, Julia is just relishing in the simple pleasures of being with Daniel and eating Pasta!
4. Hey, if you had the chance, would you do it? If you could eat all of the delicious food in the world that you wanted with no weight gain and no health consequences for 5 days, but you had to have your life put on trial, would you go for it? Yikes, I can think of so many "Daniel" moments right off the top of my head - but, I mean still, 5 days of consequence free eating . . . ;)!
5. I know it sounds trite, but I believe! LOVE CONQUERS FEAR! We see it in the movie, that the singular thing that overcomes fear is love! In the end, it's his love for Julia that makes Daniel throw all caution to the wind, and courageously fight for the woman he loves.
6. Going back to Pressfield, and "The War of Art", he points out that the fear we feel about doing something is really just a measure of how much we love it in our hearts. The greater the fear, then deep inside your heart, the greater the love. So, the secret, I think is - don't feed the fears! But, look instead for the love - the love for the person, for the great cause, or the love in creativity - and feed that. Feed it A LOT!
7. Finally, it's still such a shocker, but it is in fact the truth. We are here one minute, and the next minute, well, we're not! It's going to be true for all of us, and for our loved ones, too! And, the bite is - we don't even know how much time we have or our loved ones have left! So, best to spend our lives, whatever time we do have, in love rather than fear.
I really hope you enjoy this movie as much as we did ;). I thought I'd leave you with a few of my favorite quotes about love:
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength. Loving someone deeply gives you courage." -- Lao Tzu (author of the Tao Te Ching)
". . . perfect love casts out fear" -- The Disciple John (Bible)
"All you need is love." -- John Lennon
LOVE WINS!!! (Always)
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