Recently I’ve watched „Old dogs“ with Robin Williams, John Travolta and Kelly Preston. Being not a huge fan of this kind of movies, but once in a while I enjoy watching these naively family comedies where everything ends the good way. This movie was not an exception. Even though the story of Dan Rayburn (Robin Williams) started 7 years ago when he was trying to get over his divorce and ended up in Vegas (where his best friend Charlie Reed (John Travolta) took him) getting drunk, making the most stupid tattoo ever and marrying a random woman Vicki (Kelly Preston) with whom he separated later, because he got back to his previous normal life. Yet, there were few things to discuss.
First of all, how to connect with kids who are seven years old and you had no idea about their existence? That’s a tough task, because some parents aren’t able to connect with their kids even though they raised them since they were born. I think if you really want you will be able to connect with them, you will be able to find your way towards them. It’s hard, but possible.
Second of all, I liked that this movie touched a topic of grandpa – looking fathers. Today it’s not unusual to see a man who is in his late 50’s, 60’s walking down the streets with a five years old son. Hell, Mick Jagger is about to be a dad one more time! Is it wrong? Probably not. It’s not forbidden to have kids (especially if you want and can at any age), but there are certain things these older parents and their kids will have to deal with. Raising a child when you’re older is different from raising him when you’re in early or mid 20’s: the energy is different, the attitude is different, sense of responsibility is different, acknowledging the risks is different – lot of things that could make raising a child at young age easier (at certain point) differs while you get older. Another thing older parents and their kids are gonna have to deall with – getting used to that random people will think (and actually say) that father is a grandpa. Even though, in the movie this aspect was shown as a joke, in real life it can cause some serious psychological damage to a kid, who won’t understand why random people think his dad is his grandpa. How is that possible?
Another interesting thing to observe is how bachelors life transforms when kids enters his life. Usually it is shown as completely chaotic mess that used to be called life. Sure, it’s fun and people like to watch it. But how come that in 8 times out of 10 (that’s my statistics) we get to see how this chaos comes into single man’s life? What, is it not interesting to watch when some random (or not) kids would change single womens life? Or is it we used to think that kids do not bring any chaos to womens life, just because she is women and we presume it’s all natural to her? Well, no, it’s not natural to all women. Because there are things that people learn to handle: raising kids, communicating with them are one of them. Just like nobody is born with the ability of being or knowing how to be a parent – we all (well, actually, saddly not all) learrn it.
Raising child means sacrificing. Yeah, there are things you have to sacrfice for your kids, it’s great if things work out the way you don’t have to, but sometimes it’s inevitable. But „Old dogs“ shows that some times you have to sacrifice your kids for something. I know it sounds cruel, but sometimes you have to: spend lees time with them, leave them with nanny or anything else to reach your career hights. Some may judge those kind of actions, but I don’t think it should be.
And the last thing I liked was the role of Charlie’s dog. I mean it’s beautiful to show that not only human can be other human’s friend, but animal can also (sometimes even better) fill the position of a friend. I think that anyone who at least once in their lives owned an animal will understand it. And that dog funeral scene might seem dumb or whatever, but I think it’s nice when people are able and not afraid of showing their love, respect and gratitude to their pets (remember how Freddie Mercury sang about his beloved cat Delilah).
So, at the very end of my post I’d like say one more thing: being there for your kids means being there for them all the time, not when you want and can, but always, because they need you not when you have a wish to be with them.