The Ref

It has been a long time since I've seen Denis "smoke in your face" Leary (he used to be on a lot on MTV, remember? He was the one in the Nike ads and he was infatuated with Cindy Crawford) and it brought back good memories. I've never thought he was a great comedian, but combined with his decent acting ability, The Ref turns out to be a rather comical movie.

A couple which is having marital problems is kidnapped by Gus (Leary), a "hard-working" jewel thief on the run. Gus holds them hostage until he can find a way to get to his partner and retire in Jamaica with the jewelry he has stolen. The reason he is on the run is because the alarm goes off during his caper, and after surviving an encounter with a Rottweiler named Cannibal, he decides to take refuge in the couple's house and crashes their Christmas party in this process.

He finally shows the couple the light and error of their ways and is responsible for them getting back together when a divorce is almost certain. It is unrealistic in that I don't think reasons for divorce are as simple as is portrayed in the movie. In this respect I am not sure as to why people want to separate. It's easy to say "if you're no longer compatible, why stay together?", but then, as is pointed out in the movie, it's giving up too easily. As Gus waxes poetic in the movie speaking of the couple "Their relationship is a complicated web that has to untangled and has to be weaved and woven into a quilt." [Something like that anyway, but he does say "weaved and woven"... (:]

One wonders if divorce would indeed be so prevalent if it weren't so easy to accomplish. It is in a sense giving up easily. But at the same time, you can't expect to grow together all the time. But the issue of "divorce" has become important only because of the insitutionalisation of marriage.

There is certainly no doubt, in my mind at least, that a divorce usually ends up affecting any children involved. Again, this is brought out in a comical way in the movie. This isn't to say that the effect is negative, but in general, I think it ends up confusing children. I think this confusion is particularly reflected in the attitude towards relationships among children of divorced parents.

Now seems an opportune time to introduce a quote from Nietzsche regarding marriage:

Marriage: thus I name the will of two to create the one that is more than those who created it. Reverence for each other, as those willing with such a will, is what I name marriage. Let this be the meaning and truth of your marriage. But that which the all-too-many, the superflous, call marriage -- alas, what shall I name that? Alas, this poverty of the soul in pair! Alas, this filth of the soul in pair! Alas, this wretched contentment in pair! Marriage they call this; and they say their marriages are made in heaven. Well, I do not like it, this heaven of the superfluous. No, I do not like them -- these animals entangled in the heavenly net. And let the god who limps near to bless what he never joined keep his distance from me! Do not laugh at such marriages! What child would not have cause to weep over its parents? ---Frederick Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Movie ram-blings || Ram Samudrala ||