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Poignant, Moving -- Surprising

8/10
Author: cinemaniac2002 from Chicago, IL
29 June 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In this out of the ordinary buddy film, the characters seemed to struggle with more flaws than usual. Or, do they? It looks like Jake had it figured out - he chose the life he had and he knew it. But we don't know that at first.

It would have been great to understand more of why Jake chose this life. We found out why his buddy did -- but not really for Jake. Perhaps he was disillusioned with society. Maybe he had a falling out somewhere; a loss. Or maybe I just missed a story line in the film. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this movie a great deal. The writing is great and the acting top notch. I must say, though, I did figure out why the buddy was buddying up to Jake before it was revealed. But that's more because I watch a lot of films. There aren't many plots left to twist.

But for me, the point of this film is that we ALL make our own choices. We can blame our parents, society, the economy -- but at the end of the day, we make choices. That doesn't mean that there is no issue with greed and privilege in this country. But someone else's greed is no excuse to take less for yourself. Figure out what it is you really want and go for that. The trick is to figure out what to do that would really create a sense of peace in your life. We're all brainwashed to some degree about what we should have vs. how we should be spending our time. Society tells us one thing -- but the soul says another.

Because so many people never connect with what their soul wants - and their true calling - they wind up with some agreed upon, meaningless standard. For instance, we're led to believe that we're supposed to all want the job and the house and the kids and the yard and on and on and on. It is the pursuit of things that makes a lot of people miserable. So -- you have that expensive car and house. Now you have to maintain it. In fact, you probably have to spend so much time earning the money to keep it all that you can't even enjoy these things you think you need, let alone yourself. The issue is that when you start to acquire stuff, it takes more money than people realize to take care of all of it.

The pursuit and maintenance of stuff does not a quality life make. At least, for a great deal of people. For soul-less people it could work. But really, many of them are also miserable and spend their lives making others miserable by exploiting them just so they can keep all their stuff and get more.

The buddy knew what he wanted - to write a book out of the experience. But, what did Jake want? I think he just wanted a friend. A true friend. But the buddy betrayed him, so he didn't get what he wanted. Or did he? The ending is unclear -- it could have gone either way.

Bottom line -- never trust a writer if you want to keep a secret. We can't help ourselves!

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