The first time I saw Meet Joe Black, I wandered out of my apartment afterward in a haze and just kind of walked around and.....looked....at things. I felt wide-eyed and in the mood to marvel at the world around me. Ever since, it has always been one of my favorite movies.
Whilst in the throes of germs this weekend/Monday (which constitutes the length of a holiday weekend, no? a holiday germ weekend? it's a thing now?) I watched a lot of movies and TV shows. I was on the verge of despairing boredom when I stumbled across a movie that I had, admittedly, stumbled across many times before while combing the Internets for worthy film fare.
I'd passed it up in the past because, to be honest, the name screamed "Jane Austen!" to me and I really have to be in the right mood to take on a Jane Austen-esque film. Turns out it is....not that. haha. Premise: Young man (Orlando Bloom) in the midst of career woes hears of his father's death and flies to backwoods Kentucky to sort out dysfunctional family affairs, meeting a quirky and engaging flight attendant (Kirsten Dunst) along the way and so on and so forth.
I elicited this movie's help to stave off the last of my sick-holiday-length-weekend boredom, and instead it surprised me. It charmed me. It lifted some weight and angst off my shoulders about various life issues, as movies about death frequently do. (See? Just like Meet Joe Black. The entire plot of that movie is death. I guess I have a thing. Does this make me dark? That death uplifts me? Excuse me while I go sit in the corner of a record store and wear black and....sketch things.....)
Anyway. ANYWAY. One recurring theme that kept striking me throughout this movie was the idea of alternate plans. The idea of....detours. That you can set out on journeys, goals, life trajectories, what-have-you, only to discover somewhere along the way that something doesn't quite fit anymore. Sometimes it's death. Sometimes it's divorce. Sometimes it's a career setback. Sometimes it's some kind of spectacular failure. Sometimes it's just a change of heart, that makes you pause at a fork in the road....or makes you simply walk off the road and start blazing your own little path through the underbrush, if there is no clearly paved fork provided.
It reminded me, again, that I need to be open to detours. To deviations. To distractions of the best kind. To seeing something, or someone, that I immediately know is a "yes" and be willing to step off my comfort ledge for it, come what may. To quote one of my most treasured quotes from Meet Joe Black, "Stay open. Who knows? Lightning could strike."
And to quote Elizabethtown:
"Here you have reached a fork in the map. You can go to your car and the rest of the directions will take you home. Or...look for a girl in a red hat...who's waiting for you with an alternate plan."
"All Good Things Run Wild & Free" shirt by Flybird Apparel, birthday gifted to me by a dear friend. (And now dying over their daydreamer shirt, good golly someone take my wallet from me. BUT IT HAS A DREAMCATCHER)