In Praise of the Good Man Narrative.


I didn’t expect the film ‘The Intern’ to leave me wiping tears away from my eyes, tears triggered by the utter, utter sweet and tenderness shown by the films main character ‘The Intern’  Ben Whittaker (played by Robert De Nero).   I can’t begin to count how many times during the film I  turned to mush and exclaimed ‘that’s what everyone needs, an elder, a good man’. I’m still recalling it with a warm fuzzy feeling today, one week on.

On a personal note, our little family of four swells to a family of five when granddad is in residence – he has a granny flat-out back and has lived with us since emigrating here ten years ago (although he’s often ‘on a cruise’ as you do….). He is our own version of the ‘intern’,  our elder. The family member who can always be relied on to look over the homework, cook a bacon and egg sandwich, tell stories about the old days, pass on knowledge about football and gardening and teach us a thing or two about saving money and making do.  I love the fact that our girls get to grow up with not just one good man (their dad) but two (granddad) and it is all the sweeter when I see the value of a good man being validated and celebrated in films such as this.

But that isn’t the only good man film I’ve blubbered over.  It has been far too hot to do much recently and after a sleepless night on Friday I spent yesterday (Saturday) pining for some escapism. It came in the form of the film ‘About Time’.

About time is a coming-of-age story told from the perspective of a thoroughly decent chap – 21-year-old Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson).  The narrative between him and his father, played by Bill Nighy is just beautiful, so touching.  Seeing a young male navigate those early years of adulthood in such a gentle and thoroughly decent way supported by his openly loving father, his perfectly imperfect sister and his mis-matched bunch of friends was so heartwarmingly, especially in a world that often seems hell-bent on individual domination over quiet, collaborative success. The way Tim’s relationship with Mary played out on-screen also warmed my heart and left me hoping that when the time comes my girls find a partner who will love them in that way.

Thanks to both the Intern and About Time for reminding me of the value of a good man narrative and for making me cry tears of happiness at least twice.




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