January 19, 2015

Embrace the Complications: This Is Where I Leave You (2014)

Life can be a mess! We make plans and something undoubtedly interferes with those plans. Rinse and repeat!

This Is Where I Leave You poster.jpgWhen those interferences or complications occur, usually we're thrown off guard, and are forced into a state of introspection. As devastating as this can be (especially for my fellow Type A personalities), it is one of the few sure fire ways to get us all to recognize the true state of our reality, so that we can ultimately deal with it appropriately. Anything less and we probably would just keep doing the same thing over and over again, ignoring all the signs that something is wrong in the first place. This is precisely what happened to the main character in the movie This Is Where I Leave You (2014); which makes this movie so poignant. It reminds us all to learn to cope with the complications that arise in our lives because when you come out on the other side, you're 100 percent better for it.

In the movie This Is Where I Leave You (2014), the life of a responsible play-by-the-rules guy named Judd Altman is turned upside down when he comes home early from work one day to surprise his wife Quinn (Abigail Spencer) with a birthday cake; only he gets the surprise of his life when he catches her in the act of cheating with his boss Wade (Dax Shepard), nonetheless. While mourning the end of his marriage and new unemployment status, he also learns that his sick father passed away. After going home to sit shiva upon his father's burial, Judd is eventually forced to deal with his wife's year long betrayal and the realization that he will become a father all the while entering into a budding romance with an old acquaintance.

Life for Judd prior to finding about his wife's infidelity was pretty much routinized and he was content with that. Although he told himself that they were happy, the truth of the matter was that he failed to notice that his wife was cheating for a year right in front of him. Coming home the day of her birthday with the surprise cake was the complication that he needed to face the reality of his troublesome marriage. In addition, though he could have used a reprieve from life, his father's passing forced him back home to deal with old family issues and reconnect with someone from his past, Penny Moore (Rose Byrne); someone whom he ultimately came to realize could be the love of his life, complications and all.

In the end, Judd was not only able to come to accept the fact that going forward, his life was would be complicated as a result of raising a child with an ex-wife, but he also was able to embrace the fact that nothing in life goes according to plan and that's ok. Sometimes the best things in life aren't planned for, like Judd's reconnecting with Penny, but if you're too busy resisting the complicated, you won't be able to see the beauty in that detour off the beaten path as it were. So, embrace the complicated. It could be the best thing that ever happened to you, or at the very least it will help expose your true state of reality, which isn't so bad either.

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