You Can't Take it with You
Personal Lessons and Insights

December 8, 2001


Brief Plot Summary

A fun-loving family inadvertently stops a big banker from wiping out a competitor.


Interest Character

I found Martin Vanderhof (Lionel Barrymore), or "Grandpa", to be an interesting character. He believed that his purpose in life was simply to live it as best he could, treating others with respect on his own road to happiness. I thought it was interesting how he was able to hold onto his belief of the joy of life, and even offer others to enjoy his path, without infringing on their own ways and beliefs. "Grandpa" didn't utilize guilt or anger to convince someone, but rather encouraged them to use their own judgment. The ability to convince without using shame and risks makes both parties more happy with the decision, and is a skill I would certainly like to become more proficient with.


Interesting Scene

I thought the scene where Mr. Kirby went back to the house as the family was moving. His son had just left him and his old friend had died because he had become so driven on gaining power and money that everything else had fallen away. I can't imagine what it must have felt like to leave the life that he was used to in order to spend some time getting consulting from a person whom you had despised but a day before. Being able to do that shows a commitment to turning his life around that I find to be rather heroic.


Something this film made me think about.

This film made me think about how important enjoying life really is. The character Mr. Poppins was a prime example. Before meeting "Grandpa", he spent his time adding up numbers and following silly rules. He still got to do what he enjoyed on the side a bit, but his work strongly interfered. Although I understand the necessity of education and income, having suffered "burn-outs" myself has caused me to also discover  it is equally important to have enjoyable experiences to fall back on at times. I am certainly given a fair share of recreation time, but I have looked over the importance of what is done with that time. Although playing video games with friends counts as recreation, it is not the kind of enjoyment that the characters in this film had discovered. Rather, their love of what they do fulfills on a spiritual level, as well as a physical and mental level. I hope that I too will some day find something that fulfills me in the same way.

Original Web Upload December 2001
Last Update: December 17, 2001