Angelina Jolie, catechesis, Catholic, cinema, Conversion, death, Life or Something Like It, ministry, movie, movie ministry, prophesy, stylite, talking to God
Cal: Is this you breaking up with me? Well will you think about it for a minute?
Lanie: A minute just seems like a really long time to waste.
Quote borrowed from imdb.com
Are you someone who’s ruled by your horoscope, or had a fortune-teller give you bad news? Well, if so, you may not find the predicament Lanie Kerrigan (Angelina Jolie) finds herself in all that funny. Lanie is a reporter who finds herself having to interview a homeless man (Tony Shalub) whose prophesies, while slightly cryptic, have a strange way of coming true. It’s supposed to be fluff, but definitely takes a turn in the other direction. During the interview he tells her that she is going to die in just a few days. She blows it off at first, but then as some of his other predictions come true, she panics. And, to top it off, in her hour of need, it appears that the only one willing to help her is the guy she’s had the most confrontation with, Pete (played by Edward Burns).
Lanie’s struggle to deal with just a few days of life left to live teaches us a few things through the course of this movie:
1. Work isn’t everything. It’s great to have pride in your work, but it’s like the old Billy Ray Cyrus song (Busy Man) that says “Have you ever seen a headstone that says ‘I wish I’d spent more time at work?'” Laney has made her work her life – but when she realizes how close she may be to the end, it her concern about work centers around how it defines her. To her, getting her dream job equals success, but at the same time, she risks jeopardizing her new job offer as she tries to figure out what to do IF Prophet Jack’s predictions come true. We work so hard to try to “get ahead,” but at what expense? What / who are we really working for? Do we do it for our glory, or Gods?
2. Stop and smell the roses. Pete always takes Tuesdays off. That’s his day where he doesn’t answer the phone unless he wants to – it’s his day. We all need time off to re-set and recharge. Do we set aside a day for worship? Or, do we treat each day as just another day?
3. We will not know the hour. “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” Matthew 24:36. Some people use this to go out and do things the shouldn’t for the sake of experience. Some people would spend the whole time in Church trying to get clean before they have to meet St. Peter. Yes, we should live each day as though it’s our last, but what does that mean to you? Regardless of what you think you might do if today was your last, what do you God wants us to do?
4. Die to self. Wasn’t that what really happened to Lanie? It is a sort of death… maybe more important than the physical one. That last part, “self” is hard to give up on. St. Augustine tells of knowing the truth long before he was willing to give in to it. He was enjoying his playboy ways and wasn’t ready to give them up, despite knowing that he was in the wrong. We sometimes have a hard time giving up that one thing that we are hanging on to so hard. What’s something you find you really need to give up in your life – or maybe it’s not so much giving up something, but making time for something you need to do that you don’t find appealing? How many of us find church boring? Do we pray as we should? Do we study the scriptures as we should? Do we need to stop trying to control everything? My favorite prayer is that of Mychal Judge (911 priest & NYFD Chaplain). Think about it a little. We need to allow some room to let Him work! It goes:Lord, take me where You want me to go; Let me meet who You want me to meet; Tell me what you want me to say, and Keep me out of Your way.
5. Family should not be treated as an obligation. Lanie finds out that Pete has a son, and tells him, “I thought you didn’t have any obligations” to which Pete replies that he doesn’t see him as an obligation. How often do we view our kids, parents, husband, extended family, whatever as an obligation instead of the blessings that they are? Do we know people who’ve lost loved ones and would give anything to get them back? What do they say when they hear others complain about their families? How can we help them?
6. The opinions of others don’t matter. All that matters is how you view yourself and most importantly – How God sees you! Lanie admits to her idol that everything she’s done is so that others will think she’s special. We also see that Lanie things that her Dad always favored her sister, she’s always felt “less than” everyone else, which is part of why she put her job and all the externals things in life such a priority. Those were the things other people saw and therefore, they might see her. Do we think God notices us? Do we feel His love? Can you talk about a time when you really felt like God was there for you?
So, Life of Something Like It is worth checking out. I recommend watching it with someone you love and making sure they know how you feel. If watching it with young ones, it is PG-13 for a reason. There are discussions of casual sex and one sensual scene, but there’s no nudity as I recall. But hopefully, it’ll help you think about what you’d do in Lanie’s situation – and maybe help you put things in perspective.
For more info check out: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0282687/