There are certain movies that I like to watch at particular times of the year because of the memories they evoke. Dead Poets Society is one that I like to watch as summer turns to fall and even though I grew up in Alabama where there wasn’t much color during this transitional time, I have always felt that Vermont in the fall was how it was supposed to be and so each year I harken back to that memory; that feeling.
Recently, I rented “A River Runs through it.” You’ll remember this as the tragic story of two brothers who grew up in Montana, raised by their minister father (Tom Skerritt) and whose lives were forever changed by their love of fly fishing. I hadn’t seen this movie in many years, but felt prompted to watch it again because of my recent re-introduction to fly fishing and because I remember that it too had some wonderful Montana scenery in it.
As I sat watching A River Runs through It, I was struck by the similarities between the two brothers in the movies, and my own sons. The older brother was the brown-headed, thinker; shy though easily moved to action when convincingly appealed to. The younger brother (played by Pitt), was his brother’s counter—energetic, quick to action and not shy. It was the younger brother who inevitably pulled his older brother into questionable situations, for which they shared the punishment equally.
And once again, the relationship between these brothers just felt right. My own brother and I never saw eye to eye…we never shared a love of anything at all; but, these brothers had a bond that I hope my own boys develop. I want each of them to be his brother’s counter. For my oldest, his younger brother will be his spontaneity, and for my younger son, his older brother will be his caution. My hope for them is that they will bring a balance to each other’s lives and I hope that relationship endures for as long as they live.
Some may feel it’s silly to put so much emotion into a movie, but why not? Movies and books represent the perfection of our lives without all of the peripheral events that get in the way of the perfection. They are scrubbed, edited and colorized to represent the best that life can be and that’s what I want for my boys; the best. And if they want to fly fish with their dad when he gets old, well…that will just about be my perfection.