“Always a Reason”
After the death of his wife, he (Don Tempesta) feels he has nothing to live for and begins to think about suicide. He writes his thoughts down in a note, puts the gun to his temple and at that moment the phone rings and he realizes that he still has some thinking to do.
It is amazing that in three short minutes can touch us so deeply and even more amazing that one small seemingly trivial thing can change how one lives or even dies. When I watched a second time with one eye on my watch and the other on the screen, I noticed that as we hit the two-minute mark, emotion was already taking over. The situation presented here is one we are all familiar with. We have all felt down sometime and have wondered what our next move would be as we see things as darkly as possible. We have all felt loss and we have all felt lonely (perhaps not to the point of suicide). We have all encountered a time or a period when we feel there is no hope and our lives have no direction. So we may not consider suicide but we know the feelings we have when nothing seems to matter. The important thing to remember is that just as those feelings come to us, they also leave us.
The secret to surviving seems to lie in remembering that these moments don’t only come, but also go. It is the fine script by Don Tempesta and Chris Esper and Tempesta’s direction that makes this film so real. When he (Tempesta) writes that note about how he feels our hearts break with his. He apologizes for this as he explains how difficult life has become without his wife and just as he points the gun to his head, the phone rings and his son Timmy (Christian Goodwin) is on the line. He simply wants to know if the two of them are going to the game and if they can stop for a hot dog on the way. When his father answers as the tears well in his eyes, we know he has found a reason to stay alive even if it is as small as a hot dog or as big as a son. All it took was a phone call from someone that he cares about to snap him out of his plans and to give the ray of hope that he needed so badly. We are not contrived into feeling for him—the movie brings out the humanity in us. I could not help be reminded of what so many say at funerals—“he/she is in a better place” now but we know there is no place better than life.