I am not a movie person at all. TV/movies bore me and put me to sleep. Fact is, I haven't been to a movie theater since high school and, well, we all know the main reason I went then. While there have been many times that I have begun watching a movie there are very few that I actually stayed awake long enough to see the ending. The movie Always is one that manages to keep my attention.
Always was released in 1989 and was not a big blockbuster even though it was produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. It starred Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, Brad Johnson and Audrey Hepburn. Always is a remake of the 1943 drama A Guy Name Joe. Both Dreyfuss and Spielberg were fans of the 1943 movie and talked about doing a remake of it during the filming of Jaws in 1974. I have read somewhere that A Guy Named Joe is what inspired Spielberg to become a movie director.
The basic plot is about a firefighter pilot that returns to earth after being killed in a fire to help his girlfriend fall for another pilot and get on with her life. To me it is similar to the movie Ghost that was released at a later date.
I was originally drawn to the movie because it is about wildfires. I had just left a 5 year stint at Grand Canyon National Park and moved to Indiana. I had numerous friends while living at the canyon that were firefighters. I was able to liken the various personalities in the movie to friends. I even related to the sense of loss the entire firefighting community feels when they lose one of their own.
Now, all these years later, the movie has a different meaning to me. I now relate to the loss Holly Hunter (Dorinda) feels. I understand her deep grief. I understand her ability to not "move on" to a new relationship even though she has met someone she is interested in. I understand the scenes where she "feels" Richard Dreyfuss (Pete) in her presence.
Most of all, I truly understand loss now. I didn't when I first watched this movie and fell in love with it. My life was easy and carefree then. My life had not yet been shattered by loss and I had no idea what the future was to hold for me. Always is a movie that has touched me for many, many years. If you have the opportunity to watch it please do. It may just touch you also.