Why do I avoid animated movies? Other than the fact that G is becoming a stage 4 hoarder of Disney VHS tapes that are bound to overtake our living space? Because the despair and loss rips me apart more than a Bergman film. The Lion King left me in a funk for weeks. I was really in the Bell Jar after Finding Nemo. Now the latest is Up. We haven’t even finished it yet since ‘watching’ a movie usually spans 4 nights due to child outbursts or adult fatigue. Without giving too much away (I don’t even know the ending yet), I will just say it is about a man who marries his true love and lives a life in complete devotion to her. Once he is without her by his side, he keeps a constant vigil to her memory and sets out on an adventure to fulfill a dream they shared yet never realized together.
It does not matter that these are little cartoon people and that he looks like a toadstool. Their illustrated love is so strong that it brought me to my knees. And, as I often do when brought to my knees by a compelling love story in a movie, I look at my husband and ask one question that the rest of you should just never ask. Ever.
What would you do in that situation?
The answer to this question, in relation to the movie Up, should have been:
I would stare at your photo every day. I would talk to your spirit in my sleep. I would still set your plate at dinner and pour juice into your glass. I would read your favorite books aloud to you as though you were listening. I would lay on your side of the bed to keep it warm for you just in case your spirit could figure out the Steven Hawking space-time continuum and come back to sleep in your bed. And I would definitely string up 50,000 helium balloons to our house and float it over to a place we always wanted to go together so that we could enjoy the view until the day I die and my soul becomes one with yours.
That is what he should have said. But this is what he did say:
That Shady Acres retirement community didn’t look too bad. But since I’d be a bachelor again, I’d rather it be more of a retirement brothel.
Perhaps this is why Hollywood is so much prettier than the real world. In case you find yourself on the brink of asking this very question to your guy, let me offer a roadmap to some of the common love movies:
The Notebook – No, he would not write you a letter every day for years.
Pretty Woman – He would have turned you back on to Hollywood Boulevard. And he would have returned the clothes.
Titanic – You would not have been floating on that board by yourself while he froze in sub-Arctic water.
Notting Hill – You would be a girl standing in front of a boy being told to F yourself.
Legends of the Fall – He would be Brad Pitt’s character. Not Aidan Quinn’s character. And he’d think you a hussy for sleeping with his brothers.
When Harry Met Sally – He agrees with Harry that men and women can’t be friends so he would have slept with you and dumped you way faster.
P.S. I Love You – Just be glad to get a P.S. There’s A Will because you’re not getting a posthumous scavenger hunt of love.
Sex And The City – Don’t bother asking anything since he’s long gone the second the duh-duh-duh intro cues.