February 21, 2016

Live Like There Are No Second Chances: Double Jeopardy (1999)


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It's tough making decisions sometimes, am I right? Don't you just want to ask someone else to make a decision for you, especially when it's a big one? Who am I kidding, we all (or at least those of us who are being honest about it) actually do try and defer decision making to someone else sometimes, whether we know or trust them. Anything to avoid doing the hard work ourselves. Why? Because it's exhausting and we all know after the decision comes the consequences, and if you didn't make the decision, well, you can blame somebody else when it all goes south. Right? All jokes aside, it's hard to the make all the right decisions all the time. Sometimes we don't have all the facts, sometimes we're preoccupied or otherwise under pressure, but in the end even with all the "right" tools to make a decision, it's still hard a job that almost no one wants, particularly when your heart is in the right place and you're trying to do what is right. The movie Double Jeopardy (1999) is a great reminder of the important life lesson that we all shouldn't waste our chances, because you're not always promised another one.

In the movie Double Jeopardy (1999), Elizabeth "Libby" Parsons (Ashley Judd) faces some pretty big decisions that can ultimately impact the rest of her life and the life of their son, Matty (Benjamin Weir) as she attempted to regain his full-time custody after being falsely imprisoned for her husband Nick's (Bruce Greenwood) fake murder. Libby was framed by the man that she loved and wanted to spend the rest of her life with and when she couldn't convince the jury that she didn't kill her husband she went to jail for it, no thanks to her incompetent lawyer. While in prison, Libby not only learned that Nick was still alive but also that there is a thing called "double jeopardy," which basically states that no one can be charged for the exact same crime twice. Libby wanted revenge, sure, but more importantly she wanted to be with her son. After being paroled, however, Libby never lost her priorities, even when being confronted by Nick, who wanted to eliminate her from the picture permanently. In the end, despite everything that Nick had put her through, Libby never lost her perspective and maintained her goal of getting her son back in her safe hands. And while some, like her ex fellow inmate, would have contended that she could have pursued Nick with ill-intent, Libby knew that ultimately doing so wasn't worth it. She wanted to move on with her son and her second chance.

Although this movie is an entertaining crime-thriller, it is also a great reminder to us all that we shouldn't waste our chances in life. Like Libby, even when faced with terribly difficult decisions, we should all be mindful that we may not get another shot to do things differently, which is often the case. Sometimes we do get second chances, sometimes we don't, but why waste a shot when given one? So, go forth, set your priorities, and live like there are no second chances, making the best possible decisions you can the first time out. Because as we all find out at some point, time is too precious to waste. Good luck!