Sitting in the theater last night as I watched the credits roll, something gnawed at me. I liked the ending of Wreck-it Ralph, but I hated the last line. It’s the writer in me. I thought the actual final words were weak.The decision to spend the evening at the movies came after a week of persistent bugging from the kiddos. Didn’t hurt that Hannah had a Fandango gift card to offset the cost.
So when Hubs texted that he was almost home, I pressed send and the handy-dandy iPhone5 received the digital code for a paperless ticket to the land of make-belief.I love the concept of Wreck it Ralph. The idea that the characters inside video games are real and have feelings and actually live secret lives of drama and consequence once the lights go out in the arcade. I love how the movie spanned generations of games and technology and cameo’d my favorite hopping blast from the past… Q-Bert!!
The dialogue in Wreck-it Ralph was fresh, witty, meaningful, and many times, rip-roaringly hilarious. The concept of identity, labels, finding your purpose, and defining it rather than letting others define you are glorious. And even though not solved perfectly, they get you thinking. The idea that we’re all made for something, and each role is different but dependent on each other. The virtual and emotional bridges made across lines of genre and generation remind the viewers that love bridges [pun intended!] all gaps, and jealousy will never be satiated.
I can relate to Ralph. My whole life, I’ve broken plenty of things. And there has often been someone in my life who turns around and picks up the pieces and puts it back together. Then puts me back together. That Humpty Dumpty rhyme? Yeah. That’s me underneath that egg-shaped shell.
For the first half of my life, those people were my parents. My dad will tell you that when we’d walk into any store, his first instructions to me were to put my hands in my pockets. Especially if the place displayed chimes of any sort. Because my curious fingers couldn’t help but want to roam across and create a pretty jingle. But I lacked coordination, so the sound often changed from a sweet, ear-soothing jingle to a floor-hitting, glass-breaking crescendo.
For the last seventeen years of my life, my cleaner-upper has been my hubby, with a fair amount of help from God. But humanly speaking, hubs is my Bob the Builder, and he doesn’t just specialize in tree houses. Hubs has managed to find me in pieces plenty of times, and when I think I deserve to be discarded, donated, or just swept under the carpet, he gently helps me to stand back up, dust off and begin rebuilding. Time and time again.
God, how did I find this man? Why would You give me this man? I don’t deserve this man.
And why do we so easily hurt those who love us most? Working through painful moments in marriage is a little more complicated that the classic game of Operation. Or Pick-up Stix. Or building a house out of a deck of cards. Wish sometimes when the red nose buzzes or the other sticks move or the deck falls flat that we could just take a deep breath and start over.
Marriage is not like that. When personal hurricanes whirl through a home, clean up requires a little more than a few tools and a dust pan. Rebuilding takes time. The hindsight is 20/20 principle pierces something awful when you’re standing this close.
And after some days, when the dust settles, we spend some time rethinking the old structure before we draw up a plan of attack. What was weak that couldn’t withstand these particular winds? As we rebuild, where can we make things stronger? Because life hasn’t finished throwing her punches. The next hurricane stirs on an ocean somewhere not so far away even as we sort through the hurt. Will I be ready? Will we?
Something I learned about myself during this last storm is the importance of asking myself the right questions. Sometimes I get caught up in the whys and the wheres and the hows. Perhaps if I asked myself what never changes when every day changes threaten to knock me off my feet, I’d stay standing. Perhaps I need to be topsy-turvyed once-in-awhile to be reminded that I can’t make it on my own. Because like a child who holds onto her doll rather than a structural beam when the winds of challenge swoosh through her life, she’s bound to get blown away. I was that girl. I held onto a security blanket when I should have held tightly to the arms that never let me go. The arms of Jesus.
Forgive me Lord.
Woah. Did I digress or what? Back to Wreck-it Ralph…
I actually teared up during the movie. Twice. Once when I witnessed the main character doing the worst thing possible. Then a second time, when Ralph lived out the most powerful act of a true friend. So, at the risk of spoiling the movie (although I don’t think this will spoil it, really) I submit to you my alternative ending. Not that I want to change the actual ending, just the last line. Or two.
As the final moments of the movie show Ralph doing his thang…[trying not to add any additional spoilers,] the audience can hear Ralph’s closing thoughts:
“Yeah, so I’m a wreck. That’s what I do. We all have our roles.”
[Camera zooms from toothy-smiling Ralph to the Sugar Rush Game and Glitch.]
“But I have to admit, I’ll never forget the one day I turned around, took my chances. And built something.”
[Camera moves from colorful, candy car to a close-up of Glitch.Then zeroes in on the heart-shaped medal peeking out from Ralph’s huge gripping fingers.]
Because what he ultimately builds is something that does not easily break. Something that helps us weather life’s hurricanes. Something that lasts.
There you have it. My two seconds as a Director-Producer and Editor of an animated film.
**Have you seen it? Or are you more of the 007-type? Are you reading this blog on your iPhone5 while standing in line to be the first to see this weekend’s wrap-it-up Twilight saga?
Cuz I just need you to know, adult or child, Wreck-it Ralph is a worthwhile investment. Because the truth is, we’re all capable of both. Wrecking and fixing. And we need each other. Yes we do.
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