About ten minutes into this 2010 movie, I realised I’ve watched it before. I decided to watch it till the end because I could not remember the ending, and also I could read my novel at the same time.
Ned (Liev Schreiber) is a loving husband to Jeannie (Helen Hunt) and father to sons teeanger Jonah (Ezra Miller) and younger son Ethan (Skyler Fortgang). Ned has an unfulfilling job as a scriptwriter for a scandalous TV series, Jeannie is highly stressed with having to juggle her time between her two sons (one gay and the other who plays the violin) and her ailing father Ernie (Brian Dennehy) who is not happy until he can make everyone depressed, turning their home upside down.
The other female lead in this story is Carla Gugino who plays Ned’s co-worker with whom he has to work late into the night, in order to meet his boss’s (Eddie Izzard) datelines. Ned realises that marriage and parenthood aren’t easy.
At the end of the story comes a more sombre message – that of growing old and weak and the fear of dying alone. There is also a short discussion on cremation.
Maybe because I’ve watched this before, or maybe because Xiaohan’s novel is more interesting, I found the only thing I like about this movie is the music. The music at the opening credits, I think is by J. S. Bach, though I can’t identify the piece. In one scene, when Ethan plays in a school recital with his friends, the piece is J. S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins in D minor. There are many other nice songs throughout the movie, and I particularly like the one at the end credits, called Life Is Beautiful.