Here in this clip from the movie Click, Michel is given access to a moment in the past where he put his work before his family. After skipping over extended periods of his life during which his father has passed away, Michel travels back to the last time they saw each other to say goodbye. What seemed inconsequential while it was happening takes on a whole new perspective when viewed in the third person.
Michel is able to view his last meeting with his father from the outside, which affords him the perspective necessary to see his mistakes. By allowing his work to take precedence over his relationship with both his father and son, Michel is letting the important parts of his life slip away. He displays judgment by seeing himself (in the past) as he really was. He does not try to excuse his actions, but instead assesses them accurately and fairly. He is hard on his former self because his actions were unwarranted. It is not arbitrary judgment, nor is it overly harsh. Michel displays the love he feels for his father and his son through his reactions to his earlier self. He regrets that he denied them love when they needed it the first time, but he feels the love that he pushed aside. Finally, Michel has the social intelligence to place everything in the correct context. He realizes that he shortchanged his father and his son by focusing on his needs and what he considered to be important.
Michel’s Son’s Strengths
The son shows his creativity in designing a building that, while not as cost-effective, has a more pleasing presence. His notions of beauty and flow are presented through his chosen medium: architecture. He displays bravery in showing his designs to his father, even though he can most likely assume that his father will not be receptive to his ideas. His faith in his vision gives him the strength to argue for what he believes. The son’s most dominant virtue is zest. He is clearly happy to be alive. He enjoys his work and is enthused about his creation. He values his relationships; this is especially evident in his interaction with his grandfather and his joke that he is “down” to go whistle at girls. His gratitude is evident both in the way he defers to his father’s (ill-guided) seniority and in his respectful exchange with his grandfather. He is the balance point in this scene because he is the character who is most in the moment and grateful to be there.
Michel’s Father’s Strengths
Michel’s father shows his love for both characters in this scene. His love for his grandson is apparent in their embrace and their banter. His love for his son is evident because he gives him the benefit of the doubt. He also uses the word love with both characters, but his actions speak louder than his words. Michel’s father forgives Michel for acting unkindly. He is hurt by his son’s actions, but he still forgives him and shows the depth of his love through his ability to see past the pain he feels. He is prudent because he chooses not to escalate an unpleasant situation. He shows compassion for everyone involved by absorbing Michel’s dismissal.