Signs. What an overrated, overhyped, manipulative, self-satisfied piece of shit. I cried several times watching this and now that it's over I feel disgusted with myself. You know, when you rig the fucking game, it's not exactly surprising that you get exactly the outcome you want--and that's just crap, one-trick storytelling. And not a very clever trick either. Dying wife's last words, kid's asthma, brother's strike-out quirk, daughter's water phobia--these are things that would, in any normal narrative of life, be challenges we just have to fucking deal with--so aren't we lucky then that a poisonous, hostile ALIEN EX MACHINA FROM OUTER SPACE came along to help us make sense of life's curve balls in one blinding moment of contrived bullshit transcendence. How *convenient*. Yay for faith. Faith in the ability of Hollywood hacks to pass themselves off as geniuses and shove delusion down our throats once again. You know, Father Hess, while you're sitting there praising the Great White Man's magical deity for His Might and Power and Rube Goldbergian Manipulation in saving your kid, you might want to remember the thousands of other people who apparently died during that invasion, not to mention that your kid *could* have died and there you'd be. Stuck with your randomness far from the comforts of Hollywood.
Clearly, organized religion and I: not mixy. I suppose if I take a chill pill, I can tell myself that the movie was really just about learning to find and celebrate patterns of meaning in our otherwise random lives.
Nonetheless, it annoys me. It's too close to this creepy, cult-like new age religion I got sucked into for a while when I was young, whose mealy-mouthed advocates liked to try and convince us that everything in life is to a purpose that we ourselves hold full responsibility for, so that if you--or, say your kid--get hit by a car, it's something you or your kid *chose* in order to learn a lesson in this lifetime. Which is pretty fucking grotesque, I think, as is a philosophy that says some big spirit in the sky is up there pulling our puppet strings in order to jigger up some faith.
Whatever. Maybe I'd have been less annoyed if this movie hadn't linked its message to organized religion, which has too many associations for me. In the end, what I take from this film is that, hey, a bunch of anonymous people were killed by the aliens, but we'll wave our hand and save Father Hess's kid because he needs to get in touch with God again and we've fucked with him enough already. Come back to the fold, Father Hess, and spread the good word--it was all MEANINGFUL.
Here's hoping I haven't offended every single spiritual celebrant who decided to click through and read this. I know some people on my friends list are spiritual people, and also good people, far better than me, given how unhealthy I am in just about every way possible.
Anyone who wants to can of course view my issues with religion as signs, yeah, of my spiritual illness. Just don't say that to my face or I'll probably bite you.
Edited to add: I don't usually have strong opinions. I admit it makes me uncomfortable. There's almost something antagonistic to me in ripping something apart so vocally, because it seems to carry an implication that anyone who likes it is wack in the head. Actually, now that I've vented, I don't care so much any more. The movie did some cool stuff, and I can see why people enjoyed it. I was caught up deeply in places as I watched.
And now I'm tired and I'm going to stop before I mealy-mouth *myself* into a stupid place.