Friday, August 22, 2014
Robin WIlliams: What Dreams May Come
It's What Dreams May Come, the 1998 after-world drama directed by Vincent Ward (Map of the Human Heart, Navigator). Williams plays the man we all wish we'd married: loving, loyal, strong, and with all of the qualities our culture raises us to believe the good man should possess.
"What's true in our minds is true, whether some people know it or not."
The film plays with the idea that each person's perception of reality is the reality that the person lives. It's a beautiful visual representation of this way of thinking, and it may convince you that our thoughts have more to do with our reality than we know.
I believe that the people who hold out for the kind of love that the leading couple portray in the film are the people who have the chance to find it -- so hang in there, ladies.
What Dreams May Come is the story of a couple, very much in love, who lose their two children in a car crash, and just as they are beginning to heal from that experience, the husband is killed in a second multi-vehicle accident, while trying to help the victims. The rest of the film takes place in an often technicolor afterlife.
When Williams' widow (Annabella Sciorra) commits suicide in despair, we get a reversal of the many myths in which a woman puts her life in jeopardy to settle the accounts of a weak and incompetent father, or travels to the underworld to save her less-than-heroic spouse. This time, the man is the hero
à la Orpheus and Eurydice.
If you've been through hell and back because your ex-husband turned out to be less than a shadow of the man you thought you married, this is a beautiful film to see. Watch it, and remind yourself of what a stand-up guy is really all about.
Then, "name it, and claim it" for yourself, as they say.
Here's Roger Ebert's review from 1998, in which he summarizes, "Heaven, in one sense, means becoming who you want to be."
For my Dynamic Divorcées, as you envision who you want to be while still on Earth, and whom you want to be with, it helps to see some good examples of a man worth loving.
Do you have a favorite romantic film that inspires you? Let me know in the comments below.