Why you should watch a movie that might make you want to kill yourself

“Who made these rules anyway?” screams a frustrated, 11 years post Titanic, Kate Winslet at Leonardo Dicaprio (who looks about the same a decade later, except that his tux and tails have been replaced by late 50’s era swanky suits).

If you haven’t seen Revolutionary Road, see it.
You may hate it, many people do. I mean REEEAAALLY hate it. It does have the depressing factor, but to me it is full of truth and beauty. Yes, there are some morally questionable scenarios that I’m not sure which side of the fence I’m on and there are many different ways to interpret what happens and who’s to blame… but the multidimensional factor of the story and the characters is what makes a good movie (or book as was Revolutionary Road’s initial form) right?

My take on Revolutionary Road?
It’s a story about what happens when you choose to live a life you are NOT meant to live. It’s what happens when you choose comfort over risk, when you choose to believe the lies, when you choose to see problems and your own fears as insurmountable. It’s the story of what happens when you let life win. Basically you rot from the inside out… and your rot spills over onto the people around you until you and all your loved ones are completely miserable. You are dead inside and eventually, you die on the outside. This is Revolutionary Road. Wonderfully uplifting, isn’t it?

If you are currently in a marriage that makes you feel trapped…
…DON’T see this, it may make you suicidal. In fact, the people who I know who truly hated this movie with a bitter, burning anger, were people who were in that situation. So in that case, I don’t necessarily recommend it. I could be wrong though, so see it at your own risk.

If you feel trapped in any other way…
…then maybe you should see it or read the book. It will show you what at least one of your potential outcomes could be and it’s probably something you need to see, as painful as it may be.

If you’ve already seen the movie or read the book and you hated it…
Then maybe give it another shot with the perspective I’ve offered in mind. Or maybe not. Maybe you still won’t like it. I do, but you don’t have to and I would totally understand why you might still hate it. It’s disturbing no matter how you spin it and it really is a very complex movie with lots of different ways to interpret. My early apologies if you end up wasting yet ANOTHER 2 hours of your life on a movie you hate the second time around just as much as you hated it the first!

A couple of my favorite quotes from the book by Richard Yates:

“If being crazy means living life as if it matters, then I don’t mind being completely insane.”
-April Wheeler

“No, Frank. This is what’s unrealistic. It’s unrealistic for a man with a fine mind to go on working year after year at a job he can’t stand. Coming home to a place he can’t stand, to a wife who’s equally unable to stand the same things. And you know what the worst part of it is? Our whole existence here is based on this great premise that we’re special. They we’re superior to the whole thing. But we’re not. We’re just like everyone else! We bought into the same, ridiculous delusion. That we have to resign from life and settle down the moment we have children. And we’ve been punishing each other for it.”
– April Wheeler

“I want to feel things. Really feel them.”
-Frank Wheeler

“I wanted IN. I just wanted us to live again. For years I thought we’ve shared this secret that we would be wonderful in the world. I don’t know exactly how, but just the possibility kept me hoping. How pathetic is that? So stupid. To put all your hopes in a promise that was never made. Frank knows what he wants, he found his place, he’s just fine. Married, two kids, it should be enough. It is for him. And he’s right; we were never special or destined for anything at all.”
– April Wheeler

“We’re gonna be okay.”- Frank Wheeler
“I hope so. I really hope so.”- April Wheeler

See the trailer or rent the movie here.
Buy the book here.