We watched this movie last night after hearing from a friend that it was a cute movie. There's a lot more to this movie than a crazy dog. In fact, it made me think about my own life as a good movie should do. Warning--there are some spoiler details in here--but you should read my post anyway, just 'cause you love me and you need to see the movie too!
Jennifer Aniston's character is a journalist just like her husband. After some time married, they decide they want to have a child. As they excitedly go in for their first ultra-sound, they discover that she has had a miscarriage. You can see how devastated she is by the experience and how her husband is at such a loss to comfort her. When I had my miscarriage, I was devastated as well. Devastated at the loss of the baby, devastated that my nicely planned life wasn't working out, devastated by my own body's betrayal. It's such a hard situation. I could see Derek's relation to Owen Wilson's character (Jon) as well in that he would give anything to comfort his wife, but there is nothing but love and time that can heal that wound.
Then, Jennifer Aniston's (whose name is the movie is also Jen) does get pregnant--twice--and she's trying to deal with two small children and a crazy dog. Boy, I related to that as well. Although I'm dealing with three small kids and a bunny. Same difference. Jon's typical homecoming is an exasperated wife, a messy house and a crazy dog. He tries to jump right in and help, but his wife has just had it and sometimes they end up arguing. Believe it or not, that wife sounds just like me on some bad days and that husband sounds just like Derek as well. Aren't both spouses really trying to do their best and hold it together while operating with little sleep and not knowing if they can mentally handle everything that's in front of them?
Then there was the other story line of Jon's best friend who never commits to anything but his career. He lives this glamourous life of women and travel moving from one thing to the next. Jon envies his friend's talent, but eventually the decision of family over career causes them to drift apart. Once again, this movie presents a great dilema. Some people who are our closest friends will make choices and value different options than we do. Eventually, some of these choices will cause our lives to go separate places. The movie allowed the friendship to remain, but the closeness disappears. Every relationship takes work--not just marriage, not just familial ties, friendships need nurturing or they die as well. And more than that, the movie really tried to show how you can still envy someone else's life, but in the end realize that you ended up with more even though you originally may have wanted someone else's set of circumstances.
There's a dialog by Jen in the movie that I can't quote exactly, but it really touched me. She talked about how she had made the choice to stay home and give up her career because she didn't want to miss her kids and she knew she was only doing each job half way. She goes on to say that though she chose to stay home, it didn't mean that the choice was easy or that she didn't feel the loss of herself, but that in the end, the sacrifice was worth it because life had given her more than she had planned.
Don't we stay at home mom's feel that? I chose to stay at home. I chose to not go to law school because more than anything, I wanted to be a mother. I wanted to be available for my kids. I wanted a family more than I wanted a career. There are certainly days where I think my husband has the by far easier job than me. But, I chose this and in every way I have been blessed and rewarded more than I anticipated and definitely more than I deserved.