Tuesday, August 31, 2004

"My Life Without Me"

I just watched the movie My Life Without Me. If you haven't heard of this movie, it's about a young woman in her early 20's who gets diagnosed with terminal, metastatic ovarian cancer. She's told she only has a few months to live. And she makes a list of everything she wants to do in that six months including: tell her two young daughters that she loves them multiple times every day, make love to another man (she's married to the man she got pregnant by when she was 17 and has never been with any other man), and get acrylic nails. Her list is longer and she achieves most of the items from her list.

The other interesting twist is that she never tells anyone that she is dying. Instead she tries to live life more passionately.

The plot was unusual and the way the writer/director Coixet carried it out ended up creating a romantic film, but I have mixed feelings with the main character's hiding her diagnosis and prognosis. In an interview, Coixet referred to the character as her role model and stated that she say it was a sign of strength that the main character did not disclose that she was dying. But I think she left out how alone and lonely that woman would have been carrying the weight of her diagnoses alone. Though honestly, the experience of dying is ultimately a solo event and thus you are alone in the end, but I have seen such beautiful, moving departures from life when people are talking openly with the people they love about the experience. So I would never encourage anyone to keep the diagnoses to themselves.

And with regards to the list. I should hope that I am always doing the things that I would do if I only had a few months to live. Because we just never know when our time will come and if we will be given any advanced warning. So I guess that is what the movie has left me with - yet another reminder to do all the things I'd want to do and say all the things I'd want to say if I only had a few months left. What's on your list?


Jennynyc said...

Sounds like a very interesting movie. As for my list, I'll have to think about it.

Jennynyc said...

Tonight at the french restaurant Flea Market on Ave A in NYC(If it's a flea market why is it so expensive?!):

Waiter: Sets down a piece of flourless chocolate cake for Jan, Dave, Mom, and I to share, "This is sinful, sinful. It is bad." He smiles and leaves the table.

Jen: "So Mia is taking a poll on her blog. What would you do if you had six months to live?"

David: "Quit my residency program and travel to Asia."

Jan: "Make a movie." (Jan works in photography and video).

Mom: Jokes, "Strap myself with explosives and go find the president." (We all giggle).

Jen: "I'd just spend a lot of quality time with my cats."

Mom: "I'd probably do the same with the dogs."

David: "As long as this is fantasy, if I have to be told that I only have six months to live, can I also be told that I've won the lottery?" (We all giggle).

Waiter: "How is the cake?"

Jan: "Sinful!" (Waiter nods at the correct answer and exits).

Jen: "I think this cake is why I brought this up. I would have this cake every day if I had six months to live." (Jan, who also has a major sweet tooth, giggles).