It Could Be Worse...

Hi readers. Sorry again for my absence. The combination of bloggers block and a very busy workload has kept me from coming up with a lot of fresh ideas. And then...life happened and suddenly I found the inspiration again. For you see, this is my unintended sequel to THIS POST...the one where I wrote about having to evacuate my (old)  apartment due to a flood. Apparently life felt that one flood wasn't enough and decided to flood my brand NEW apartment as well. Yeah.....life is a female dog, and once again I'm feeling like Kristen Wiig's life in Bridesmaids isn't too far off from my own. So to make myself feel better I went in search of ten movie characters who have it worse than me...MUCH WORSE.

LES MISERABLES - Hmm. So many characters to choose from. Which one has the worst life? Is it Jean Valjean who can never escape his past no matter how reformed he tries to be? Could it be Marius who loses all his friends and kinsmen in one fell swoop? What about Eponine, the poverty-stricken girl forever stuck in the friend zone ( the story of my life, kindred fictional spirit...minus the poverty part,)? All good choices, but my money has to be on Fantine, whose life sinks so low she has to sell her teeth, hair and her whole self (putting it nicely) just to make some money. Yeah, her life sucks, and she sings a whole song about how awful it is. So...at least it hasn't come to that.

THE IMPOSSIBLE - Again, another movie where almost every single character has been through something unspeakably horrible. This film, based off of a real tragedy, showcases physical and emotional suffering at it's absolute worst and gut-wrenchingly most painful. Whether it's losing a loved one or breaking every bone in my body, I must admit I'm very fortunate not to have suffered anything these people did.

LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL - The only other life I can fathom being as horrible or worse as any from The Impossible would be one from Life is Beautiful or Schindler's List. Guido, in Life is Beautiful in particular is called upon to be strong and put on a happy face in the absolute darkest of times, just so his son can be shielded from the outright ugliness of the worst war in human history. But if his suffering isn't enough, like I said you can always put on Schindler's List.

THE DUCHESS - Now for a different kind of suffering. The depressingly repressed kind. Wouldn't it be nice to be in an arranged marriage where your husband constantly cheats on you and everyone knows it. If that isn't mortifying enough, he decides to cheat on you with your only friend. Meanwhile your one true love you can never be with or else your husband will ruin your life and take your kids away from you. Ouch.


Or you could have a disease that distorts your face and body and makes everyone think you're a freak. Then the only work you can get is in a circus where you scare people...not the ideal life. I saw this film in college and while a great film, was one of the hardest movies I've ever had to watch. As always, knowing this was based on a real man's life (even if they took a few liberties..) makes it all the more difficult to watch.

RESCUE DAWN - Okay I can't really remember the span this movie covers...but being stuck in a Prisoner of War camp for any amount of time would be beyond awful. Plus I only can imagine how terrible it would be if you became as deathly thin as any of the inmates did. Food is so scarce that you have to just settle for a SNIFF from a can. Yeah...life could definitely be worse.

AMOUR - Back to some more emotional suffering. What about having to care for your dying wife for so long that she barely resembles the person you once knew. That she's become so miserable and that living is a burden. You have to see her suffering not just once, but all day every day....that the only thing you can think to do is [SPOILER highlight to read} smother her with a pillow to end her suffering. yikes....[ SPOILER]

WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE - If caring for your dying wife isn't enough, how about the life of Gilbert Grape? Having to constantly care for your morbidly obese mother and mentally challenged brother would probably eat at anyone! Neither can help themselves and you're barely an adult, but the responsibility and burden is ALL on you. And everyone is always mad at you for something. Pro? You look like Johnny Depp in his 90's prime.

HOPE FLOATS -  Again a jerk husband is cheating on his perfect wife with her best friend. This time though? She gets to be humiliated on a daytime t.v. show where her husband informs her he's leaving her. To make matters worse, now you have to move in with your eccentric mother and your daughter somehow blames the whole thing on you....and still prefers her father.

MY LIFE - If all else fails, you could get diagnosed with a terminally fatal disease. I saw this film when I was a kid and remember it being one of the saddest shows I'd ever seen... (next to Go Toward the Light.) My brother Sean took away a much more lasting message: "Anger poisons."

Now please don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to be flippant with this post because I know these scenarios are things many people have had to suffer through, and I don't want to make light of anyone's suffering. Life can be absolutely horrible and hard in every sense of the word. There are a million kinds of suffering and absolutely none should be belittled. My goal was only to find the ten most depressing movies I could think of...but not with the purpose of making a downer post...rather remind myself that I'm not alone in my suffering. For me, that's one of the comforts of cinema, is that people create art to convey their life experiences...and many times that includes their suffering. There's something wonderful about being able to suffer collectively with people who understand your pain. And if nothing else, a film is always a good way to get your mind off of your problems.

ETA: Totally forgot about 127 Hours. That'd make my list too I think.


Johanna said...

This was a great post. One of the hardest movies I ever saw was The Grapes of Wrath. I remember thinking that as hard as I felt I had it, I had never had to see my children go hungry. Great movies. Great list. Great reminder.

Love you lots.

courtney wightman said...

this was great. although, your situation DOES kind of remind me of the naomi watts picture ... glad you haven't had to resort to "selling your teeth, hair and your whole self".

Sarah said...

Go Toward the Light was one of the saddest movies I have ever seen. I don't think I could watch it again. Most of these movies will just make you cry the whole way through. While sometimes you need a good cry via a movie, most of the time, I have discovered that life hands me enough of these "good cries," so it is a rare thing for me to seek them out!

Amelia said...

I need to see so many of these! But I better save it for a day when I need a good cry!