Monday, August 2, 2010

Must-See Turning 40 Movie: City Slickers

I re-watched City Slickers last night and must recommend it to everyone who's turning 40. Billy Crystal is the everyman - he has a nice life, but is in a bit of a rut: he's not satisfied at work and he's feeling the pressures of family life (funding tuitions and visiting the in-laws) more than the enjoyment. Bruno Kirby is the ladies' man who just married a much-younger lingerie model and Daniel Stern is going through a contentious divorce. As they approach 40, they're all looking for answers in their lives.

And so they go on a cattle drive and as the back of the DVD probably says, hilarity ensues. City Slickers may be the little seed that set all these Fabulous 40th Birthdays in motion -- the cultural image that suggested this is what you should do when you're approaching 40: round up your best friends and do something big!!

The movie is filled with great quotes and a few "before they were stars" moments, like a young Jake Gyllenhal playing Crystal's son.

But the moral of the whole movie is about figuring out what you want out of life. And as we approach 40, I think a lot of us think about it -- what is it? This was the exchange between Billy Crystal's character, Mitch, and Jack Palance's leathered cowboy character, Curly:

Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?
[holds up one finger]
Curly: This.
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean shit.
Mitch: But, what is the "one thing?"
Curly: [smiles] That's what *you* have to find out.

City Slickers shows us that the answer is sometimes a lot less complicated than we think...but getting away from it all can help you figure it out.

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