Wonderful and Awful

My friend is talking about Mamma Mia, the ABBA movie, just before it opens: “It’s going to be wonderful and awful, all at the same time.”

"Yes, just like life," I say.

“Oh, how sad."

It might be a little sad, that life this a mixture of sadness and pain, joy and beauty; but the best art and writing looks this fact straight in the face, often with a sense of humor. My favorite movies, my favorite books - they are all filled with this mix of highs and lows, moments funny and joyous and painful and sad, all stuffed into a few hours or a few hundred pages. Also like life, the best and the worst sometimes occupy the same page.

Postscript: A few months ago, I did finally see Mamma Mia on a flight from New York to Houston. I tried not to watch, and managed to read for most of the flight from Houston to New York. Continental hates me, however, and they showed the movie again on the way back. Unable to resist the images from the screen hanging above my head, I watched most of the movie on the way back. Unfortunately, it was just awful.

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