Sunday, May 18, 2014

Labor Day


While recovering from another round of the crud ( double ear infections + throat infection woo-hoo) I rented the film Labor Day staring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin (you know the older brother, Brand, from The Goonies).  I had wanted to see this film while it was in theaters but my husband doesn't have quite the enthusiasm for depressed yet romantic movies.  Labor Day is based on the novel by Joyce Maynard.  I've read a couple of Maynard's books and really enjoy her writing.  The fact that she had an affair with JD Salinger decades ago makes her even more interesting to me( I have a serious love for JD Salinger).

Labor Day feels like something exotic that you discover in your own home.  Those days when you are at home, deliberately, trying a new recipe, starting a new book that has been on your shelves for years, sitting in your sunny backyard, listening the trees rustle and watching the sunlight flicker through the limbs.  It feels like your on vacation but in your own home.  Frank is an escaped convict who hides out for Labor Day weekend in Adele's home. Adele and her son are living a depressed life full of the mundane or less.  Frank awakens their lives by showing them how to live again, within their own lives over the holiday weekend. There is a love story that develops between Adele and Frank but the biggest love story is how this family started to fall in love with living again.  Fixing things with their own hands, making a pie from scratch, learning to play baseball in the backyard. It sounds so simple but to those who only live in a shell of their lives, it was fresh and new.

To some degree, I could relate to these feelings that Adele had.  She, depressed from a broken marriage, lived with the confines of a few small places -- a monthly trip to the store, the permanent spot on the couch, within her own head.  She was merely existing, a prisoner in her own life.  Isn't that how life becomes when you allow yourself to get caught up in the ego, commercialism, Corporate America, keeping up with the Joneses.  It has for me several times in my life.  This was a good reminder to live.

Labor Day is slow.  Deliberate.  Fantastic.

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