After the Stereophonics concert on Friday night, we concert-goers went back to Craig and Suzanne's house to play Wii Mario
CKart. It was good - beanbags and Wii controllers, vodka, an addictive game, Scots, Irish, a Kiwi - such fun. The other thing we did was talk. And talk. Talked about lots of stuff that seemed to revolve around personalities, people, nature, nurture and eventually: happiness.
Through this discussion (that lasted until dawn) Keiron mentioned a movie he'd just seen, describing it as "possibly the best movie I've ever seen" he said, and cited from it the simple message that if we were simply nicer to each other, we would solve a hellova lot of the problems in the world, and specifically impact our levels of happiness.
Well, it's not like you're one thing or the other, okay? There's still a kid inside but you grow up when you decide to do right, okay, and not what's right for you, what's right for everybody, even when it hurts... Like, you know, like, you don't jerk people around, you know, and you don't cheat on your woman, and you take care of your family, you know, and you admit when you're wrong, or you try to, anyways. That's all I can think of, you know - it sound like it's easy and for some reason it's not.
Gus answering Lars' question "When do you know you're a man?"
While we talked around the mulberry bushes until the early hours, experiencing in microcosmic irony the very obstacles we were talking about (religious, political and philosophical differences - living the dream in miniature) we always came back to Keiron's (asleep on the beanbag by this stage) original idea recognised in the film "be kind to each other"*.
After getting home early Saturday morning and sleeping/LOLcat'ing the edge off my exhaustion I shared this story with Willo and Fox and we decided to see the film.
I'm not going to talk much about it, mostly because I'm pretty crap at articulating these things. What I loved was that the film explored what could happen if we did just care about each other. What living in a place where we were kind, and our neighbours were too. Lars and the Real Girl is really a fairy tale and a love story. It's a story about the importance of affection, the tenacity of love,. How a broken heart can affect other people too. The "long tail" of friendships, connections and family.
It's also about seeing people's problems and helping, and while it might be easier to ignore mental illness when it's out in the back shed, it's better, if more difficult and painful, to make it visible and work at dealing with it together.
It's as funny as life is, but it's no comedy. It's a gently told story of being open to the needs of others, of caring, of helping, and of working together.
* not to forget this message is in many films, not the least of which is Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure "Be excellent to each other! Party on Dudes."
PS: We did actually hit upon a pretty interesting answer to our happiness discussion. Simply put: the secret to happiness = blow jobs: ½ the world would be happy and ½ would be busy / not talking.