By: Alina Ionescu On: August 17, 2014 In: Learning, metaphors Comments: 0

Pocket watchA friend told me that I should watch this movie, like friends do, and now I’m paying the debt forward by recommending it to people who haven’t seen it. After you do watch it, I ask of you to share it with your friends too, as I found it to be like a useful tool.

It is a movie about unlikely moments that change people’s lives. Unlikely moments that end up making people enjoy themselves more in the complex and often difficult stories of our lives.  The movie itself is hilariously funny and full of torrents of subtly hidden ideas – also presented in a funny way. Although it starts with its main character saying that “just so you know, this is not the feel-good movie of the year”, it does have a nice way of ending up making you feel good, which is the whole point of the title.

Whatever works – at making you personally enjoy yourself more. I will not spoil the movie by talking about it directly. All of its characters start off with a personal back-story that is obviously not working out too well for them. To some extent, we are all imposing an image of something we think we’re supposed to do, an external image that we think will make us fit in, or fill a certain purpose. The main character, Boris, bluntly says it: “I’m sure you’re all obsessed with any number of sad little hopes and dreams.” But will those work out for us? That is the simple question this movie asks: does it work for you? If it works, regardless of what “it” is, than it’s fine. Somewhere in his 60s, after a seemingly perfect life, Boris realizes something that changes everything for him. I’m dying!”“Should I call an ambulance?”“No! No, not now! No, not tonight! I mean, eventually!


As everything changes dramatically in his life, he ends up contemplating the fact that “the chance factor in life is mind-boggling”.

If you let it be mind-boggling.

If you can open up to the possibilities that do arise regardless of your minds ability to recognize them.

If you can let your mind wonder beyond what normally makes sense.

Marietta, another one of the main characters, develops from the embodiment of self-imposed restrictions to the exact opposite and then advises her much younger daughter to do the same. “There’s nothing wrong with expanding your horizons. I certainly expanded mine.” she says. Of course, in real life such dramatic changes are much less likely. And yet the degree to which one can change is directly influenced by his or her own availability to fathom the unthinkable.

The movie ends with Boris’s words: That’s why I can’t say enough times, whatever love you can get and give, whatever happiness you can filch or provide, every temporary measure of grace, whatever works.”

Whatever works… two simple words that manage to summarize a large palette of ideas and attitudes. I love the simplicity and the depth of that! It seems like a nice tool by which to judge your life and even that of others. In the sense that, if it works for them, you have no reason to think any differently.

Play around with it, there is no telling what new possibilities can open for you. Can’t change who you’ve been, but you can change who you are today if that will make you enjoy life more.


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