A few weeks ago I was watching Up, and I must admit that I was late to the party. The movie itself was charming and went from ordinary to strange very quickly. The entire first ten minutes were cinematic genius and for five of them, not a single word was uttered. I was in awe by how great this scene was and the power of movies to convey something deeper.
SPOILER WARNING: This is the scene that everyone talks about when they speak of Up. The movie is eight years old and this scene is within the first 10 minutes of the movie. If you haven’t seen the movie, you can find it almost anywhere online or physical copy.
I cried. I legitimately cried grown man, thug, “Cry-baby”-esque slow tears by the end of that scene. I had to find a stuffed animal to hold because I was so heartbroken for Carl. Pixar masterfully showed us the positives and the negatives for finding love.
It was by design that Carl spoke very little (barely at all) during the moments before and during this scene. He became an avatar for the audience. Something for us to project our emotions of love and happiness on. Even though I don’t sale balloons or have master carpentry skills, I was Carl. I was happy finding someone that thought the same as me, got married, and loved each other through all of the struggles of life.
This made me think about who I am as a man now and what I want to be. I’ve been writing for months about how I will treat my future family and the mindset I want to build so I can be ready for them. We often think so deeply about what we want, that we forget to think about the other person. What struggles do they struggle with? What challenges do they face? How can I love, not only this person, but everything in their world?
Let’s be clear. Love is not a destination or a straight line. Love is a choice that you must continue to make everyday. When things get hard, you must choose that person. Carl and Ellie’s relationship was a mutual one. Life happened to them and they responded together. Similar to my Aunt and Uncle, you feel the love and its warm and bright when happy. When it’s dark and gray, you have to figure out ways to keep the sunshine.
Up showed some very complex and hard scenes to process that we don’t think about when we think about love. Financial burden, health issues, parenthood, careers, emergency planning, and even death. All of those things are concepts we have to be comfortable facing with our significant other. They are not conversations or thoughts you like to have but they are realities.
Up really made me think about life being a grand adventure and your significant other being your copilot. You navigate the highest heights and the lowest lows. There may be turbulence and clear skies. But the most successful voyage has a vessel with passengers that you couldn’t imagine the trip without and will face anything with. You weather the down moments together, knowing that one day you will see amazing heights again.
Any other heartfelt moments from Up you particularly enjoyed? Any other movies that tugged on your heartstrings? How do you pick a copilot? What has helped you ride through the tough times? Let me know in the comments below.