CLICK: Fast-Forwarding Through Life
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree Tilt.
The movie I saw yesterday struck a nerve—it was a comedy that had me in tears, and that surprised me. It reminded me of something I discovered when my dad was in the Intensive Care Unit several years ago and I got to see a lot of dying patients and see what was important to them at the end of their lives.
In an effort to spend some fun time with my kids be- fore they left on their trip, I took Aislinn to see Adam Sandler’s new movie, Click. We both liked the movie but walked out with very different perspectives. As an adult, I found that it meant something far more personal to me than I expected, largely because the first review/synopsis online seemed to misunderstand a few of the major points I noticed.
Adam Sandler’s The Wedding Singer with Drew Barry-
more is one of my guilty pleasures, largely because of the great 80’s soundtrack and because I lived so many of the references in the movie. So I was hoping for a little of a repeat, based on the movie trailers, and I loved the premise of a “universal” remote control that lets you “control your universe” by reversing and fast-forwarding—and freezing time (geez, don’t we need that for the office!). I often like to be spoiled for movies and wasn’t for this one, and I admit, I didn’t see some of the things coming in this one that I should have (like Mort-y), likely because of my own emotional state at the time. It’s billed as a comedy, but I found it oddly familiar in the universe around me.
The sole review/synopsis I read alleges that the re- mote control starts programming the protagonist’s life, but that’s not true. In fact, Morty (Christopher Walken) says that, point blank. You can’t lie to the remote, even if you lie to yourself or to your family. It just follows the pattern you set. If you program it to skip things, it does. If you program it to fast forward, it does. It makes its future choices based on your past choices. But ultimately you direct your own life, whether or not you have James Earl Jones commentary or theme music.
Basically, Michael (Adam Sandler) is a dad who can’t manage his busy life and needs a little help. He’s working like a dog, missing weekends and holidays with his family and friends to try to impress an unimpressible boss, always doing extra in search of that elusive promotion and prosperity and ignoring the things are really important. So when he gets a universal remote from Bed, Bath, and Beyond (in case you’ve always wondered what “beyond” meant), he soon finds that he can watch a scene from his past or fast forward through the bad and the ugly parts of his life…or just the inconvenient.
This is where two premises in the movie became oddly familiar.
1. During the time Michael is fast-forwarding through the job drudgery or the unpleasant parts of family life, he is physically present but his mind is elsewhere. I guess I found out what’s wrong with men who are “emotional distances”! Morty explains it as physically being on auto-pilot. Getting the work done, taking care of all the physical requirements, but never there emotionally.
I see so many people everyday who are on “auto- pilot.” So many. And that’s exactly what it seems. Just totally disconnected so they don’t have to experience the emotions of the moment, they don’t have to feel any- thing—good or bad. They’re going through the motions but not the emotions.
2. The sense of fast-forwarding. Maybe this is just something that happens anyway as you get older—the sense of time speeding along. But I do know that there have been events in the future that I’ve set my sights on and not noticed enough about what was going on between where I started and that goal. I lived it, yes, but was running toward the goal all the time. Once there at the goal, it was like, wow, yes, it took a long time to get here and this was what I wanted, but where did the time go?
So okay, there’s not a need for me to rush time. It will come plenty fast on its own.
This is a different lesson for me than the live-in-the- moment discussions. This isn’t about filling up life with garbage just so I can say it’s full or I’m not waiting on anything/anyone or sleeping with every man who comes along because that’s someone else’s interpretation of living in the moment. It’s about not rushing.
Strange that this would hit at the same time I’m still getting messages from my guides to “prepare, prepare, prepare” for something that’s coming. All right, already. I’ll keep preparing but I’ll stop rushing toward whatever’s coming.
I wonder if those men I met in the ICU with Daddy felt they’d rushed through their lives. Their families had not been to see them in the ICU and they knew they’d likely never see their children again. Without an exception, they all said they wished they’d spent more time with the people they loved and with doing the things they loved.
Not a one of them wished for more time pushing paperwork at the office.