It’s good to be able to laugh at yourself. Trust me, I do it all the time. And the older I get, it seems like the more I have to laugh at myself about. One of those things…is raging hormones. Especially during that one week called PMS week. My hormones – and thus my emotions – are out of control! What does this mean? Well…it means that everything makes me cry.
Today’s episode of laughing at myself…comes from the night where I had insomnia and stupidly decided to watch a movie called Max. SPOILER ALERT! Stop reading if you haven’t seen it and don’t want it spoiled.
Max is about a Marine Dog who gets traumatized by his handler’s death and cannot go back into the field to work. We first see his trauma when he almost tears up the floor of the church during the funeral trying to get to his handler’s casket. I think that was the first time I lost it. Max runs up and barks at the casket, draped in an American Flag, and then whines and lays down beside it. And boom…I was in tears. From here, we see the story unfold of the handler’s family taking the dog in because otherwise he is going to be put down because he can’t work anymore. They go to pick him up and the only person he doesn’t seem to want to maul…is his handler’s little brother. ::sniffle:: I immediately anthropomorphize the dog beyond reason and decide that this is because he can see a resemblance and because they smell alike because they are brothers. Shut up, it’s my logic….it doesn’t have to be true. Anyway…the brother is kind of an angry, bratty, punk teenager when we get started. He acts like he doesn’t want or give a crap about Max…or anything else. He’s a mad at the world teenager. I snapped at him several times for this. “You little brat. Be nice to that dog.”
Over the course of the movie, the brother bonds with the dog. The next time I really lost it was the scene where the family leaves Max in a cage in the backyard and goes to the 4th of July parade. And as they sit and watch the fireworks begin…I yell at the TV…”Max is traumatized by loud noises! Oh my god! You have to go home and comfort him you stupid brat! Oh god, he must be so scared!” And I’m crying at the TV and crushing my Sherpa blanket in my tiny hands in my frustration. Just as I yell this at the TV, you see this fact dawn on the face of the teenage boy and he gets up and starts running. He tries to take Max in the house but Max is terrified and won’t come out of the cage. I yell at the boy again, “Just get in the cage with him!” He listened. The kid gets in the cage with the dog…and for the first time, Max snuggles up to him for comfort…and I suddenly have my hands over my face, crying.
Then we have the storyline where the bad guy comes around and Max barks and growls at him. And later when the bad guy has a gun, I sit up angrily in my recliner, tiny hands balled into fists, and yell, “Don’t you hurt that dog, you bastard!”
Through the rest of the movie, there are shouts and cries from me:
“You better be nice to him!”
“Good dog! Good dog!!!”
“Oh, that’s a smart boy!”
The father in the movie is kind of a jerk. He lets the bad guy convince him that Max turned on his handler…so he wants to put Max down and he aims a gun at the dog…but mom and little brother stop him. Still…you can see the anger on his face and how much he hates the dog. Then all the bad happens…and dad is taken hostage by the bad guys. Lots of things happen…dad is trying to get away…he has a gun…and here comes Max straight toward him. He aims the gun at Max but something stops him and he kind of cringes…Max flies right by him and jumps the bad guy – who was behind dad and about to get him - and saves Dad’s life. That’s right, jerk! He saved you! Max comes over to Dad and licks his face and that look of realization comes over dad’s face…he was wrong about Max. For sure. This was not enough for me. I was angrily yelling at the TV…”Tell him he’s a good boy! You tell him he’s a good boy, god dammit! He saved your life! Good boy!” He didn’t listen…but he did pet Max. Max understood. Yes, he did. Shut up, this is my story.
In the end, the bad guy comes after little brother with a gun. They are on a train trestle with a giant, gaping hole above a creek. Here comes Max! He jumps the bad guy and the two of them go through the hole and plunge to the rocky creek bed below. I slam my hands over my mouth and more tears spring to my eyes. We see the bad guy lying motionless at the bottom….with Max lying motionless on top of him. I can’t breathe. The next thing I see is a headstone in a cemetery…and I wail. “No, no, no, no…” I tell the TV. Then I see the name. It’s Max’s handler’s grave. And little brother is talking to him. I can still barely breathe. Where is Max? Brother talks…then I hear it. I hear Max whine. And my fists go in the air with a victorious “Oh! He’s ok! Good boy!” Little brother thanks big brother for Max and tells him he loves him. He and Max go off into the sunset. Well, in my imagination, there was a sunset. But it was a happy ending and Max lives and gets the bad guy. Now there are happy sniffles and it’s three hours after my usual bedtime but I stop to love on my cats before I go to bed.
I spent 85% of this movie crying, yelling at the tv, or with my hands over my face in terror. But it was worth it for the happy ending…and for all the laughing I get to do at myself as I tell this story. Laughing at yourself is healthy. So is a good cry sometimes.
Good boy, Max