Sunday, November 27, 2016

Writing Sample Saturday: City of Angels

I've been going through some of my older works and found a gem I wanted to share.
It's like a movie review with a personal touch. I wrote it for Chicken Soup For the Soul years ago and I hope you all enjoy it.
Believe in guardian angels.
Or at the very least, that someone truly is watching out for you.
I’ve always loved the idea of guardian angels watching over us. Someone to help us up when we fall, to comfort us while we grieve, to guide us down the path we choose and to guide us back when we go off track. The movie, City of Angels, strengthened my belief in angels and gave me comfort during a very tough time.
My grandparents were the most important people in my life. So, their deaths were excruciating for me. I lost them both within two years of each other. My grandmother’s death, although upsetting, wasn’t a shock. She’d been fighting Alzheimer’s most of my life so I had been able to accept, and make peace with, her death long before it happened. When Grandma died, I was sad but I was comforted by the fact Grandpa was still there.
But a couple of years later, the worst happened.
Grandpa had a stroke and was gone within days. I was out of town when he passed away so I didn’t even get to say goodbye. The way he died, without warning, took a part of me too. My soul was lost and I stayed in a fog for several years.
I moved to a different city to start fresh. I figured with new faces, new experiences, I’d be able to move past my grief. But it seemed I couldn’t get past my sadness no matter how many good things would come my way. Then one day, I went to the local dollar theatre to catch an afternoon Matinee.
I’ve always loved movies. They take you off to a different world where you can forget about your own life for a bit. We can laugh, cry, or scare ourselves silly. Or, better still, they can kick you in the rear end with reality.
The dollar theatre showed movies no longer showing in regular theatres. I always thought of them as a place to see movies cheaper – as renting them – but you got to see them on the big screen so you were still seeing the movie the way you were supposed to. That particular day, City Of Angels was playing. I shielded myself from knowing what happened in it so I’d enjoy it more.
I’m glad I did.
I never disclose details of a movie in case others haven’t seen it yet, but this movie was the most beautiful movie I’ve ever seen. There is no other word to describe it.
It’s just beautiful.

I was carried on a wave of emotions from the beginning where angels gathered on a beach to watch the glorious sunrise over the ocean to the ending credits rolling up with the haunting song Alanis Morrisette echoing through the tiny theater. As the lights came back on, I along with every other person there, sat weeping uncontrollably. For me, it was the first time I’d allowed myself to cry since my grandparents had passed away.
I think I was meant to see that movie at that particular point in time. I also believe my grandparents, somehow, guided me to that theatre to hear the messages in City Of Angels.
Unconditional love is always with us even if we’re only able to experience it for a little while. Or it is taken away from us suddenly. It’s what gives us strength to get up and face another day. Most important to remember is that love never dies.
The most significant message I took from the movie is a quote from Nicholas Cage’s character, which I wrote on a piece of paper and still keep in my wallet. When asked by another angel whether Cage regretted giving up what he did for Ryan’s character he answered, “I would rather have had only one day with her…to feel her love than to have lived a lifetime without it.”
Because of that movie, I finally allowed myself to grieve. I also learned, maybe, it’s not such an outrageous idea to believe we have guardian angels watching over us.

I know I do.


  1. I agree with you. Besides, I love the early works of Cage. This is a very charismatic actor. And the movie is really good. I ordered an essay on the filmmaking theme 99papers . And also I sometimes wrote short scripts for video advertising. And in the future, I dream to write a story for a short film. But I'm afraid without the help of professional writers I didn`t complete this task.

  2. I think it's fantastic that you wrote scripts! That's one area I haven't gotten into yet. Persevere and you will get that short film script out there, I'm sure. Thank you so much for your comment.


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