Thursday, August 22, 2013

Up, Up, and Away

The first time I watched Up, I wasn't infertile yet, or at least I didn't know I was infertile.  The ex and I had only been trying for about 4 months, and I still thought it would happen at any time.  So at that point, the infertility in the storyline didn't affect me any more than any other part.  Still, a friend that saw the movie with me and I came out of seeing it with the reaction of, "that is SO NOT a kid's movie!!"  Even without being infertile, the beginning of the movie basically says, "Hey, kids, you're never going to reach your life's dreams, even if you try to save up for them, because no matter how hard you try, life is going to kick you in the ass and take everything from you, and if you finally manage to reach that dream, you'll either be the one to die when it's about to happen or the one left alone to watch what you have left destroyed.  But hey, there's a talking dog!" (Bear adds, "Oh, yeah, and if you're a Scout, you should harass the old grumpy people when you go door to door.")

I tried to watch it again tonight, since there wasn't anything else good on and I wanted to record it for the kids.  When they do finally watch the recording, I'll be somewhere else when the beginning plays, because I don't ever want to see that beginning again.

On the other hand, I love Bear for asking if I wanted to turn the movie off (which I did after the funeral scene) and for holding my hand while I was watching it and for offering to put it on for the kids sometime when I'm not home.


  1. Up is one of my favorite and, at the same time, least favorite movies of all time. I applaud the writers and producers for including the beginning in there. Honestly, the movie could stand alone on its own without that 11 minute beginning because it could just be the story of an old, grumpy man who lives alone and is unwilling to let his house be torn down. There doesn't need to be a telling of his backstory, but those 11 minutes add so much depth and heart to the story. And, it is so genuine and real that I can only imagine that one of the writers likely went through infertility and/or lost a child because he/she nailed it. And, even better, the entire thing was done without any words, only images.
    Every time I see it, it hits me in the gut. But, watching the whole movie gives me hope that living childfree (as I am doing) doesn't have to be horrible. I can still have adventure and make a difference in the life of a child. Plus, maybe someday my dog can talk.

    I'm here from Mel's weekly blog roundup.

  2. Here from the roundup. I haven't seen the movie Up!, but I've become quite sensitive to depictions of infertility and fertility in media, even if just made as a passing reference. Sometimes it makes me a bit crazy. Anyway, I watched the opening sequence on YouTube after reading this. It made me tear up a bit. Could definitely identify with the part where's they look up at the sky and see nothing but babies in the clouds! I am inclined to agree that the film makers must have had some personal experience with IF because they do seem to get it right. There are ways to interpret the sequence other than as sad; after all like the couple in the cartoon everyone has to make some sacrifice or do without something. It would be naive to pretend otherwise even to a child. But it can feel like a punch to the gut as an infertile when I suddenly see fertility issues depicted, whether sensitively or not. It was very kind indeed of Bear to be so aware of your feelings, and good for you for recognizing that you need to walk away from the movie. And thanks for the "warning" about this movie, though at least it is a far better depiction than some.

  3. It is definitely a great movie but I disagree about the message. **Mild Spoilers**

    I think it's a hopeful message that *even when* life doesn't go according to plan, you can still find it to be a very satisfying adventure. That was the wife's attitude which she was finally able to make her husband understand in the years after her death.

    I watched the film after our son was born, but whilst the emotions were still raw. I'm not sure how I'd feel if I was in the thick of it, though.

    1. The kids turned it on while we were still asleep this morning, so I didn't have to see the beginning, although when we got up, the 9 year old, who loves to talk about what he's reading or seeing, wanted to tell his dad that the couple wanted to have a baby and couldn't.

      (At 9 and 6, we certainly don't tell them about the infertility. The 6 year old has asked if I had wanted to have a baby when I was married before and I said I had and she said maybe I still would, but this was after I had been dating her dad a couple months, and I doubt at that point she connected that with me having a baby with her dad)