I had been wanting to watch this film for years and finally got to it the other night. Besides the fact that one of my favorite actors (Don Cheadle) is in it, I was pleasantly surprised by Adam Sandler’s excellent performance in a dramatic role. The reason I think the film is so important is because it addresses Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and specifically, the forgotten people who were left in the wake of 9/11, having lost family members and their entire lives from the tragic events that took place 16 years ago.
PTSD is not addressed nearly enough in the media, yet many people suffer from it due to both physical and psychological trauma, so I appreciated that this film not only takes on this difficult yet important topic, but that it does so with such tenderness, humor and honesty.
I love that it reminds us that we’d best not judge anyone, least of all the homeless, or people who may have homes, but have no sense of family or belonging–those who wander lost and misunderstood, trying to forget the tragedies they have experienced. From the soldiers returning from war who aren’t given adequate mental help for the psychological wounds they carry due to the horrors they’ve witnessed, to those who have experienced untold personal horrors–there are many walking wounded among us. Instead of judging, we need to try and imagine what led a person to the place they are now. Even if we don’t always have financial means to help them, we can always be kind.
I hope that films like this continue to be made and may they remind us that we are all wounded in some way, and that we aren’t here to judge, only to love. Don Cheadle’s character, Alan Johnson, is the epitome of a true friend–a quiet, unsung hero who never gives up reaching out to his old college pal to help him find healing. Let’s be like Alan Johnson.