Sunday, January 6, 2008

Dashed--and undashed--Dreams


BFF Kathy gave me the "Little Miss Sunshine" DVD last year. She really wanted me to see this film. Domestic Partner is not a movie person, and I have gotten very lazy about going to see movies on my own, so I miss almost everything.

("I don't know much cuz I don't get out much." ~Bette Midler, Mud Will Be Flung Tonight!)

Of course, I loved the film. I thought it was very funny. And of course, I loved the stripper-ography the young girl had learned from her late grandfather.

I was also impressed with Paul Dano's performance as the sullen teen, Dwayne. The character of Dwayne had taken a rebellious vow of silence that would be maintained until he was allowed to get his pilot's license.

In a pivotal scene that has etched itself onto my bleeding heart, the character discovers that he is color blind, which makes him ineligible for flight training. His breakdown is immediate and stormy. I cry while watching this scene, while watching this young man wail and curse the universe at large for taking away, in a matter of seconds, the most important thing to him in the world.

It is cruel at any age to have a dream taken away, but it seems especially poignant when it happens to a young adult who places all bets on a single goal. Author Alex Sanchez talks about his "inner teenager" in interviews, and mine seems directly affected by Dwayne's dashed dream.

What if I had never managed to dance and perform? What if I had succumbed to parental pressure and merely attended college, only to start working 9-to-5 in my early twenties? Since I had started training rather late in life, it had been almost too late for me to make it as a dancer, even to the modest levels that I eventually attained, and that is why I cry.

These type of what-if questions, however, are the better kind. I'm grateful that I didn't reach this point in life asking myself such questions as "What if I had tried being a dancer back then? What if I had just went for it?"

I am grateful that I have so few regrets, so far, in life. It is one of the reasons I continue dancing, even if just in my own kitchen, in order to express the joy that is available in life.

4 comments:

golfwidow said...

That is so sad I'm GLAD I never saw that movie.

Jason Phoon said...

That particular scene was quite painful to watch for me as well, and I also just knew what was going to be his first word after the vow of silence was broken.

Broken dreams ... I didn't have any. I don't know which is more sad, not having them or not achieving them ...

Peter Varvel said...

GW, it's still worth the viewing! It's bittersweet, and sardonic (thanks, Prince!).

JP, I think you may be part of a new generation that proves things are changing for the better, overall.
Better to not have any broken dreams, I say, if you can avoid it.

Quin said...

i think this is the most pivotal scene in the film... an i've watched it three times, having loo and mb watch it with me.

it's a beautiful film, of broken dreams, fulfilled ones, and the creation of new ones.

"i want to dedicate this to my grandfather."

"where is your grandfather?"

"in our trunk"