Since I was sixteen, I've had a solid answer for "What is your favorite movie?" My answer: Fight Club. The film spoke to me on a level that is hard to explain. It taught that we are not the contents of our wallet, or our job, or our bank account. It gave a feeling of unity that we are not special snow flakes, but vessels for advancing human kind. It showed that deviance was the only way to true freedom and greatness. "Self improvement is masturbation, but self destruciton..." said our knowledgeable leader, Tyler Durden. I remember coming within moments of asking my friends to fight me, "If this is your first night to Fight Club, you have to fight." I held strongly to the beliefs it taught. On top of that was great cinematography, writing, and an ending that made you reanalyze the whole movie, which had made you reanalyze your life. It was genius, and it was undoubtedly my favorite.
Last Night, I think I changed my favorite movie. After so many years of spouting "Fight Club," to the favorite movie question, I feel hesitant to make this announcement. Fight Club felt good. It was artsy and well known. It distinguished me as someone who was a free thinker and a rebel in my own right. But, I feel that I must relinquish those titles, not because they were not worthy, nor that they are not now, but because I'm growing up. I'm not the deviant little shit that I once was. I'm a preparing father, a soon to by writer, and a devout husband.
My new favorite movie is "The Legend of Bagger Vance." Some of you may have seen this movie while half awake and your response is, "A golfing movie?" I understand your confusion. I don't golf. I once got double my uncle's score while playing nine holes on the dot, but The Legend of Bagger Vance is not about golf. Not really. It's about life and God. When you watch it, think of Bagger as God Himself. He leads Randolf Juhnuh, a broken war hero who wishes nothing more than "to forget and be forgotten," through a golfing match, or we could say, through life. Juhnuh has given up on golf. He's lost his swing. Bagger, decides to help him find it, "His authentic swing. The swing he had when he was born." Bagger talks about the world trying to take that swing from us, by telling us that our swing is wrong and that we need to do it their way. The golfing tournament, or this life, is for us to refind our authentic swing, and play that field the way that only we can. Juhnuh also has issues with a love he left behind and never confronted upon return. He has memories of the war that he can't seem to shake. His ball goes way out in some trees, and just as the flashbacks start coming, he reaches for the ball (to give up of course), and Bagger says, "You gonna be needing a different club?" Juhnuh explains that he can't do it anymore. Bagger tells him that it's time to put "those things" to rest. He tells him to hit that ball, don't hold nothing back, give it all that stuff so that Juhnuh can move on. It's hard to go into detail, but the next time you watch it (and I implore you to) think of Bagger as God, Juhnuh as you, Harvey as the people who try and help you, the field as the world, and Golf as life: The game that "cannot be won, only played. It's hard, it's fun, and you can call a penalty on yourself if you're honest, which most people are." Along with the message it portrays comes the work of Matt Daemon as Juhnuh, and Will Smith as Bagger (one of his lesser known roles). Great cinematography and writing. Some of the best parts are when Juhnuh does something awesome and watches the ball as he holds the club and Bagger comes up and takes it as if nothing had happened and it's time to get on with the match. I hope you can see why my favorite movie needed to change.