I just watched the movie for a second time, and loved it just as much as the first. I found myself fighting back tears in the beginning of the story while the young couple was struggling with infertility. I walk in those shoes everyday, I understand the pain. To see it portrayed in animation makes it seem that much more common to me, I’m not alone.
Although infertility is most bluntly portrayed at the beginning of the film, it is certainly a theme throughout. In a movie that is constantly on the move, you can pick out the places where Carl and Ellie’s childless life and struggle with infertility are being referenced by noticing the stillness. It begins after the scene in the doctor’s office; Ellie is outside sitting still with her eyes closed. I am guessing that both children and those who have not struggled with IF may not notice the ongoing theme, but for me, I felt what Carl and Ellie were feeling in those moments and connected with them.
Infertility isn’t something that is neat and tidy. It can’t be packaged into one moment in time and then forgotten, it changes you. It morphs your view on so many things, and I think that the writers did a fabulous job portraying that.
The story is not just one of heartache and loss, it is one of hope. Although Carl and Ellie’s life doesn’t end up as they had dreamed, we know in the end that they did have a pretty fantastic life. At the end of the movie Carl sits down in his chair and looks back at the Adventure Book. It isn’t until then, in the stillness, that he realizes what he did have was great despite the things that he didn’t.
It’s a tough hand of cards to be dealt, but with the right attitude sometimes the worst hand takes the pot.