This movie is LOOSELY based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Usually I like to read the book/story before watching a movie and I like Fitzgerald, but in this case I hadn't gotten the chance. I did read the story this afternoon though. You can read the entire text on line from the University of Virginia. I almost always like the original books more than the movies they are based on, but not in this case. I thought the movie was better. It really had to be adapted quite a bit in order to make it into something that anyone would want to see.
Anyway, I really liked some of the quotes from the movie, so I am copying them here:
"Benjamin Button: For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again."
"You can be as mad as a mad dog at the way things went. You could swear, curse the fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go"
"Benjamin, we're meant to lose the people we love. How else would we know how important they are to us?"
"Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss."
"Benjamin Button: Some people were born to sit by a river. Some get struck by lightning. Some have an ear for music. Some are artists. Some swim. Some know buttons. Some know Shakespeare. Some are mothers. And some people — dance"
I was definitely crying by this last line. I was crying because everything does change, everyone does die, because life is so beautiful, life is so fragile, life is so diverse. Because all these things and more, I cried. I think that is what made this film so moving to me. And even though Fitzerald's story wasn't his best work, I think he secretly knew something when he gave Benjamin the last name Button.
I love buttons. They don't have to be on clothes. Actually I like when they are not on clothes the best. I love when you can see the diversity of a bunch of old buttons all together in a jar. There are a couple of great antique shops that I go to that have a great collection of buttons. Even though they have lived past their purpose... maybe the clothes that they once were on are now out of fashion or they somehow got separated from their brothers or sisters on the shirt or dress they once belonged to... they still have an interesting place, even if its just the fact that they make me smile when I see them.
So perhaps Fitzgerald had a thing about buttons too. Although this may be stretching it, buttons (like people) have a purpose, they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and although they have a limited time of usefulness (they get old or un-necessary), their 'lives' can still have meaning and add beauty to the world past their point of purpose if there are those that were willing to appreciate this beauty.