Monday, February 06, 2012

Incredibly Loud & Extremely Close

Last week my husband and I went to see the movie Incredibly Loud & Extremely Close. My husband had read the book, and was going to enjoy watching me watch the movie (since he already knew the plot line). I could tell from the previews that the main character was somewhere on the spectrum, and so I was prepared for whatever idiosyncracies they needed to use from an aspie character to further the story line.

This whole movie was an interesting and odd experience. I am used to seeing aspie-type characters on tv -- through Parenthood, maybe even House, or Community -- and so I thought I was prepared to see this little kid in the movie. And in the beginning, I was kind of bored by the movie. They did a good job of not overly using the "quirkiness" of the character, in my opinion, and in just showing why the father was so important to the son. Actually, the relationships were what were vital to the boy, and for that matter, the whole movie. I got slowly sucked into the story, in a way that I was totally unprepared for.

So sucked in that, when the lights came up, and people began to file out of the theatre, I was crying. And not just any crying. Full on sobbing, embarrassing, -- the ugly cry. You know the one. Where you want to stop, but you can't, and you get mad at yourself because you can't stop. I turned to my husband and said "Am I the only one in here who's crying?" and he, very politically correctly, said "No -- you're just a lot better at it than everyone else..."

I didn't even know why I was crying. So, as I drove home (the hubby and I were in separate cars), I started to think about my very public display of over-emotion. I think it came down to this - in the last half an hour of this movie, part of me was watching it, and loving the ending (if you haven't seen the movie, the next part of this post is a spoiler for the end) and part of me was allowing my mind to wander, and thinking about my two boys who are on the spectrum. The movie was really pointing out that in the process of trying to find out what the key from the boy's father's closet opened, he was having to interact with many, many people. At the end, you find out that the mother basically "vetted" each person, trying to make sure that her son would be safe and would have a positive interaction. As a result, the boy understood a little more about others, and the OTHERS understood a little bit more about HIM. That made me reflect on my two boys. One is 25, and now would not even be considered "on the spectrum," and his relationships with people are truly wonderful. I will write about that in one of my further posts. So, when I look at my 15 year old, who still struggles somewhat, and think during this movie about how he still struggles with some of the same social problems as the little boy on the screen -- and then think of how incredibly well my older son is doing, I think that my burst of emotion/crying/whatever that was, was due to a desire/hope/feeling that maybe, someday, my 15 year old will end up more like my 25 year old -- that he will have strong relationships with people, and will be happy.

Geez, no wonder I was crying so hard...

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