I have a fondness for movies that seem to go nowhere, but do it interestingly. When I settled down to watch Jon Kasdan’s In the Land of Women, I was looking forward to an experience like that. Instead, I was subjected to a string-pulling exercise that worked in fits and starts but never really got it together. Pity. This could’ve been a good movie.
There was, however, one moment in the movie that really resonated with me. Carter (Adam Brody), a young writer with a messed up personal life, has just moved from LA to Detroit to get away from everything and take care of his grandma. There he strikes up a friendship with an older married woman named Sarah (Meg Ryan) who finds herself stuck in her humdrum suburban existence and now has to deal with breast cancer on top of it all. During one of their conversations, she speaks of a visit to New York many years ago:
I’d never been to New York before and I loved it. And I remember that I was sitting alone in the American wing of The Met, and I was in the room where they have all the paintings of the Hudson River Valley and I just suddenly had this feeling like I was awake. I mean awake to my life, like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. And then the other day, I’m sitting in the car outside of school waiting for Paige and she comes running out and she’s telling me all about her day and she jumps in the car and I had that feeling again like this is it. This is exactly where I’m supposed to be. Right here, with her. I guess I just wish that I could’ve appreciated everything more. I just want as many of those moments as I can possibly have, you know.
This isn’t an extraordinary movie by any standards, but that dialogue stayed with me. It was like I had finally found a really neat way to describe how I felt at some moments in my life. Like when I read Jonathan Livingston Seagull for the first time. Or when I saw Rashomon for the first time.
Have you had moments like that?