That’s Not What I Mean


I recently remembered a scene that struck me, between the characters played by Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton, from the movie “Marvin’s Room.”  It is towards the end of the film, where Bessie, played by Diane, and who had lived what must have been a difficult life taking care of others, is shown dying of leukemia, with her estranged sister Lee finally recognizing what a beautiful soul Bessie had.

BESSIE: I’ve had such love in my life…. and I’ve had such… such love.

LEE: They love you very much.

BESSIE: That’s not what I mean. No. I mean that I love them. I have been so lucky to be able to love someone so much.

LEE: Yeah. You are.

This scene moved me because Bessie gave all of her heart to the ones she loved, even though they caused her sorrow.  Even though she was the only one giving in those relationships, she was still deeply grateful for being able to love them.  My heart went out to her.  If only everyone who loved that much were loved back as much.  But that did not seem necessary for Bessie.  She had such love because she loved; not because she was loved in return.

These are some of my thoughts on the matter:  It is not the beloved who makes the love great or deep or true.  It is the heart of the lover, which has the capacity to see the good in the beloved, and to keep on loving despite all the pain, that qualifies love as special.  Such kind of love is undeserved, really, but it’s real and it’s there.  The lover cannot help but love.  The beloved can either return the love or reject it.

I am getting older.  The movies I remember are from last decade.  These days I see myself as conservative, old-fashioned, old school, strict, and, admittedly, boring.  But what I do have that is exciting, is the kind of love that Bessie had for others.  So I am still lucky.

As God has loved me unconditionally, so do I love others.  That’s how it works.

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Aw, Shut Up.


I do not watch a lot of movies anymore. This is a quote from the script of one of my all-time favorites, Jerry Maguire.

JERRY

This used to be my specialty. I
was good in a living room. Send
me in there, I’ll do it alone. And
now I just… I don’t know… but
on what was supposed to be the
happiest night of my business
life, it wasn’t complete, wasn’t
nearly close to being in the same
vicinity as complete, because I
couldn’t share it with you. I
couldn’t hear your voice, or laugh
about it with you. I missed my
wife. We live in a cynical world,
and we work in a business of tough
competitors, so try not to laugh —

(directly)

I love you. You complete me.

DOROTHY
Aw, shut up. You had me at hello.

If only we could write out our life’s lines and the people in our lives said the right words back.

No, there are no scripts in real life. Only mindless chatter.

If only we could say, Shut up. And look as gorgeous as Renee Zelwegger.

They’re Playing My Song


Sanity break. I’m going through work overload stress and I need to breathe, so I did some Facebook therapy.

I found that one of my friends tagged me in the note “No. 1 Song“. I did not just read her Note; I went one step further and blogged about it because it was interesting. The Note led me to a website where the No. 1 Song on Any Date in History may be found. I looked up my birthday and found that that the No. 1 Song in the US Billboard on the day I was born was:

Annie’s Song
John Denver

You fill up my senses
like a night in the forest
like the mountains in springtime,
like a walk in the rain
like a storm in the desert,
like a sleepy blue ocean
you fill up my senses,
come fill me again.

Come let me love you,
let me give my life to you
let me drown in your laughter,
let me die in your arms
let me lay down beside you,
let me always be with you
come let me love you,
come love me again.

(instrumental)

You fill up my senses
like a night in the forest
like the mountains in springtime,
like a walk in the rain
like a storm in the desert,
like a sleepy blue ocean
you fill up my senses,
come fill me again.

My favorite version of this song is from “My Best Friend’s Wedding” (what, this film? I don’t remember it; I don’t remember ANY line from the movie, only that it made me curious enough to try a creme brulee for the first time in my life), where Dermot Mulroney’s brother and his friends took in helium from the balloons they were preparing for the wedding, and then sang this song in perfect harmony, with helium- thin voices. Too bad this song was not included in the original motion picture soundtrack (what soundtrack? I don’t own a copy of this soundtrack, I DON’T listen to it, I just can’t stop Sayin’ a Little Prayer, Wishin’ and Hopin’ that someone will sing The Way You Look Tonight because What the World Needs Now is Love, but I’ll Be Okay).

Okay, enough silliness. Back to work.

What I Didn’t Write About


I’m so delinquent in posting to this blog.  No wonder I’m not getting paid for it. 🙂

I have so many topics waiting to be blogged about:
  1. The worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila, and how stupid (yes, I’m using the S word here) I think the authorities are for allowing consecutive repairs, road works, and the like, during rush hour, along the route taken by most motorists going to the central business districts.  FRUSTRATING!  I think there are certain people who are not using their brains but are merely focused on how to get famous enough to be elected to public office.  
  2. My rekindled desire to find an affordable, safe, and convenient studio in Pasig so I don’t have to waste time stuck in traffic.  I seriously need to look around for a place to stay.
  3. When Harry Met Sally“, which I have seen for the thousandth time last night.  But I turned off the TV on the last few minutes.  I could recite the lines by heart anyway.  I just could not watch them anymore.
  4. He’s Just Not That Into You“, which I went to see this afternoon.  I have revived my crush on Ben Affleck (it disappeared when he dated J. Lo).  His character in the film made the audience go “Awwww”.
  5. “Doubt”, but I wrote about it already in “my other blog“.
I have punched two people in the last two weeks.  Both of them had referred to my being single and in my 30s, on separate occasions.  I felt better after punching them.
I took an executive checkup courtesy of my office HMO last Friday, and found out something that should make me focus on my health and impress in me the need for a major lifestyle change.  But should I worry?  Only the good die young, and after all that ranting and punching, I don’t think I’ve been too good recently.  Just the same, if you know me, kindly say a prayer for me.  I will get all the results by the end of the week.
I will try to be a more consistent blogger here.  I’ve been busy working on the ratio decidendi of life, that the obiter dicta took a back seat.  Will hopefully be back to regular programming after my weekend in Bohol (woohoo!  I just had to put that in).
More on that later.  I have to catch up on my beauty sleep as well.

Prelude to a Review of "The Secret Life of Bees"



“Most people don’t have any idea about all the complicated life going on inside a hive. Bees have a secret life we don’t know anything about.”
-August Boatwright’s character, The Secret Life of Bees

I want to watch this film, but do not have the time to do so. I have read the book by Sue Monk Kidd and was impressed by her writing. It was different from her other book, “The Mermaid Chair“, which I had mixed feelings about due to its style and content.

“The Secret Life…” deserves a proper book review, and I will get to it once I find the time.

I remembered the quote because I have found myself “busier than a bee” these past few days. My friends tell me that I should get a shirt that says, “Born Busy”, because I am always doing a project, coordinating an event, organizing a reunion, running an errand, or finalizing a report. I was a busy student, I became a busy lawyer, an even busier missionary, and now at my busiest, with work and family concerns.

In all that busyness, there are even more complicated things going on inside my head. Sue Monk Kidd wrote it well when she compared the life of bees to the life of humans. It is as graphic and as accurate as a metaphor should be.

Read the book and watch the movie. We’ll talk about it more in this blog. Soon, I hope. Or you can start writing your comments below. I will find time to read them. I always do. 🙂

Now Showing: The Women


For a woman who likes to read chick lit and watch chick flicks to entertain herself, I was extremely disappointed with the remake of the movie “The Women“. 

The all-star cast did not move me.  What could they do with a poorly-written script, stereotypical characters, predictable plot, and frantic pacing?  The actresses were all “acting” as if on theater, pushing their characters to the limit, and ending up looking like they were desperately trying to prove a point, that women stand up for each other, or at least should do so.  
It could have been handled better, and I say this with additional disappointment, for this was an all-woman cast and crew (almost), and I was rooting for them to show the world the great stuff that women could churn out.  
The relationship between the four main characters could have made more sense if the audience could see why they were friends in the first place.  There was no chemistry and it looked too forced to me, as if they were trying so hard to “be their character” that they forgot how to loosen up and just let the “great friendship” flow aroud them.  
BFFs Mary (Meg Ryan) and Sylvie (Annette Bening) had to constantly remind each other that they were “best friends”, when in real life this just happens to women, and this could have been better depicted by looks and actions between the two.  The supportive friends were just secondary characters whose main goal in the movie was “to be there” for Mary, even if it meant sacrificing their relationships and careers.  Who made Mary the center of the universe?  
Debra Messing looked as if she was channeling Dharma of Dharma and Greg.  Jada Pinkett Smith had the most interesting character to portray, but alas, she was not given a meatier script.  She had to act as if on a teaching video of  “How a Lesbian Should React in Each and Every Situation She and Her Heterosexual Friends Are Confronted With”.  Talk about putting people into boxes.  
The confrontation between Mary and The Other Woman should have crackled with sarcasm and oozed with pain.  Instead I was just frustrated at Mary and irritated at Crystal (Eva Mendes).  It was unrealistic and unbelievable, even under the excuse that Mary was prohibited by her “smart mother” from confronting her husband Stephen and The Other Woman, and Crystal was a hopeless gold digger with no morals.  I blame the script and the direction.
Mary’s behavior did not satisfy me.  It was as if she was in  a long movie commercial of “How a Woman With a Philandering Husband Should Respond”.  I would have wanted a more realistic, grounded take on one of the most common problems for women.  It seemed too smooth and too easy.  Meg Ryan tended to smile too much and laugh as if her world was not falling apart.  Maybe that was the point of the movie, but again, they could have shown it more convincingly.  
There was definitely something missing and a whole lot of talking (my father could not last fifteen minutes of the film) that it got too noisy for me during some scenes.  Perhaps the people behind it were too happy that they got the rights to the remake and they had all those beautiful and famous actresses to play their boxed characters that they did not bother to look at the details and nuances that women were expecting to be entertained with.  Annette, one of my favorite actresses, gave the most textured performance of them all, but even she could not salvage a movie this predictable.
The First Wives Club handled the topic of male infidelity better – it was humorous and at the same time staggering to watch.  Or that scene when Emma Thompson held back sobs so her children would not hear her heart breaking from Love, Actually – that really moved me to tears. Even Sex and the City (which was more about Love rather than Sex, to my delight) was five stars better at showing women power, although the budget for wardrobe and accessories there was almost criminal and resulted in corrupting women everywhere to “lust” after goods and to look fabulous at fifty, “the new forty”.  
Maybe I’m growing older and pickier, but this movie simply did not do it for me.  It was just one long Dove commercial and an utter waste of talent.

The Greatest Woman on Earth


Since we’re digging up my favorite movies already, this is one movie script that I have read over and over.

This is from the last part of “As Good as It Gets” starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. If I could write characters and lines like this someday, I would be the happiest woman on earth.

I love this because Melvin the Writer said these lines to Carol the Waitress. And he saw her greatness. Hope you get it, too.

I’m the only one on the face of
the earth who realizes that you’re
the greatest woman on earth. I’m
the only one who appreciates how
amazing you are in every single
thing you do — in every single
thought you have… in how you
are with Spencer — Spence…

… in how you say what you mean
and how you almost always mean
something that’s all about being
straight and good…

I think most people miss that
about you and I watch wondering
how they can watch you bring them
food and clear their dishes and
never get that they have just met
the greatest woman alive… And
the fact that I get it makes me
feel great… about me!

You got a real good reason to walk
out on that?

“The Greatest Woman on Earth” is also a cut from the movie soundtrack, mostly from composer Hans Zimmer.

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