Human beings are finite creatures, and there are very few stories to tell. I didn’t take the class or read the book, but there are something like nine basic plot archetypes–because humans live very short lives. We’ve got coming of age, falling in love, supporting/protecting our families, achieving something on a grand scale, fighting against evil, fighting against apathy, fighting against nature, finding fulfillment as an adult, and giving to the next generation before we go tits up. And then we go tits up and someone has to grieve for us and we start the cycle all over again.
So what’s that? Nine? I’m sure someone out there who took the class and read the book can tell me how I fucked that up– but you get the idea.
So, the Rocky movies are sort of a beloved franchise, because the first movie has the first three conflicts in spades– plus a whole lot of heart.
And let’s face it. Looking deep into Sly’s big brown eyes and wishing someone, anyone, would fight his heart out for the big prize and then scream our names because we’re that important too?
Dude. Just does it for us, right?
So, as Sly gets older and we’re left wondering– “omg. Rocky. Is that it? You’re going to wander off into the sunset and you have nothing left to teach us?” It’s sort of nice to see a work from a young director who sat next to his father and was told, “Watch this– these movies have everything. These are good–they’re about being a man.”
And when he became a man and decided to make stories for a living, he wanted to tell this story and show respect to the old and make it new again.
So this movie… it’s got everything. It’s got the original story, and it’s got the new version of the original story, and it’s got the story behind the story.
I was almost fetal with feelz. Not even lying.
So at the end of the movie, as I’m wiping my face off on the inside of my sweatshirt, I turn to Mate sort of embarrassed. “God, that one got me,” I said, voice shaking.
He did the manly look into the far reaches of space. “Gotta pull myself together. I think I did the ugly cry at the chill scene.”
Now, yeah. We’re a couple of middle aged people who love movies– we love movies because we let them get to us, that’s just a given.
But damn, the last year has had some shitty reminders that manunkind is just one shitty cycle of idiots who don’t learn on a hell’s quest to break the world.
It’s so good to see that this once, art did its job. Art took the best parts of being human and made them matter. It’s the closest we get to being infinite–and we don’t do it nearly enough.