Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing

We all strive for a sense of contentment in our lives. We yearn for some sort of purpose. Some find it with ease, others achieve it with some difficulty. And there are those who envy the people that are happy with their lives.

Jill Sprecher's Thirteen Conversations About One Thing follows the day-to-day lives of five people. Walker (John Turturro) is going through a midlife crisis. After an accident, Troy (Matthew McConaughey) becomes wracked with guilt. Gene (Alan Arkin) grows increasingly irritated with a cheerful co-worker. Beatrice (Clea DuVall) keeps a positive outlook on life despite it being far from perfect. And Patricia (Amy Irving) discovers her husband's infidelity.

What Sprecher shows with her film is simple human behavior. We don't know how to achieve the happiness we feel we deserve. We don't know if we'll find it in something superficial or long-lasting. All we know is that we want to be happy, no matter how long it takes to find it.

Sprecher also shows that life can play cruel tricks on certain people. Fate can be a fickle thing to some people. Bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. Nothing about life makes sense, even if we try to understand it. In other words, sometimes you have to accept what life throws at you.

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing is a quiet film in its execution of everyday life and the hurdles one has to jump. Fate may be a cruel thing but one thing's definitive: we know how to dust ourselves off and march on.

My Rating: ****

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