on gran torino and valentine’s day

B. and I did Valentine’s Day a day early, since we both had things to do that Monday. (As an aside, we are probably not the only ones to claim to not celebrate Valentine’s Day yet to get together in honor of it, even if it is low-key.) We didn’t really have anything special planned – we went for a run like we often do on the weekends, came home for dinner at his place, watched a movie. The movie was Gran Torino – at first sight, not the most romantic movie. But it turned out to fit the day perfectly.

Gran Torino is a Clint Eastwood movie, and a really good one. Clint Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, one of the few Americans left in a neighborhood quickly filling up with Asians (in this case, Hmong). He is hostile towards everything and everyone, but gradually and unexpectedly strikes up a friendship with the kids next door. It’s not your typical “curmudgeonly old man is softened by kid’s presence in his life and learns to love himself and others” plot; it holds a few surprises and ends quite differently than I thought it would. And it’s really about love, the love you can hold for someone else, someone different than you, someone not of your blood but more tied to you, in the end. It’s beautiful, and funny, and sad. It almost broke my heart. And it was a perfect way to celebrate love,  and how real love  is bigger than you and makes you do things you never thought you could.

One thought on “on gran torino and valentine’s day

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