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Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Five People You Meet In Heaven

It's movie review Sunday and this week I saw The Five People You Meet In Heaven. This was originally a made for TV movie a couple of years ago and I saw it then, but it's better without commercials. :-)

In this movie, the hero, Eddie, is a maintenance worker at Ruby Pier, an amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, one of the rides breaks, and in an attempt to rescue a little girl from a falling car, he's killed. He meets five people in heaven, each of whom had his or her life touched by Eddie in some way. And along the way, he discovers things he didn't know about what really happened. I don't want to go into too much detail, so I'll stop here.

This movie is one I recommend highly. It looks at how one life can touch another's and how we might not realize the impact we have. This is a movie that if you think about it for a while, there are deeper layers than what's obvious. It's not a main thread, but one of the pieces is that our view of our lives is narrow and we can't see the big picture, but as we go through Eddie's five people with him, we find out things about his life and how it fit into a bigger reality than he knew. For example, with his father. Eddie thought he knew how the man had died, but he was wrong. He was seeing his father through his misconceptions and it wasn't until he saw what had really happened that he was able to look beyond it to the man his father really was--a man with both good and bad traits.

Another interesting facet that's never addressed directly is karma. Because of something Eddie did as a young man, he had a karmic debt to pay. He didn't even realize he was paying it, he simply believed his life had been a waste because he worked at this amusement park fixing rides, but with his last person, he found out differently.

This movie is a tearjerker and also very meaningful and deeply touching. It's based on a book of the same name by Mitch Albom. (BTW, Netflix misspelled his name and this is a NYT bestselling author. Gah!) I haven't read it, but if the movie is this good, I can't help but wonder how great the book must be.

My rating: 5 stars.