In the 2003 film, Big Fish, Edward (Albert Finney) is a colorful storyteller. His stories are so colorful, in fact, that his son, William (Billy Crudup), has a difficult time believing them. Thinking his father only wants attention, frustration builds and they don’t speak to one another for three years. On the surface, that might not sound like a love story. But the reasons behind the embellished stories, it truly is. It’s a love story about a man living his life with purpose and passion, as well as having compassion for others.
One of my favorite sequences in the movie is when a teenage Edward (Ewan McGregor) sees the girl he wants to marry. While at the circus, time pauses for him and she gets away without being able to find out her name. He’s smitten. Determined to find out more about her, Edward learns the circus owner, Amos (Danny DeVito), knows her. Amos agrees to tell him small things about her as long as he works for him.
Edward works hard and learns small things like her favorite color, she likes daffodils, she attends college, and that her name is Sandra Templeton. Upon learning her identity, he starts to pursue her only to find out she is engaged to be married to someone else. Of course, that someone else is a jerk.
As he begins to walk away and all indications show he is defeated, he turns back and faces her dorm house and declares, “Sandra Templeton, I love you and I will marry you!” I’m tearing up watching it again. So awesome! (You can check out the scene I’m talking about here.
Finally, in a lawn covered in her favorite flower, Edward is confronted by the jerk boyfriend. The boyfriend beats him to a pulp, but Edward wins Sandra over by refusing to fight back. Seeing her boyfriend’s cruelty, Sandra breaks off the engagement. Sandra and Edward eventually marry.
He’s loyal to her until the day he dies and keeps the romance alive through the years.
Big Fish is kind of a weird movie at times, but it’s full of great examples of perseverance and adventure, all in the pursuit of love. It teaches you to go for it, don’t let reason get in the way, and live with no regrets – especially with something as powerful as the one you love. Something we all need to be reminded of every now and then.
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