Director: John Turteltaub
Starring: Bruce Willis, Spencer Breslin...
Release Date: 2000.
Length: 104 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
Bruce Willis plays a cynical image consultant, Russ Duritz, who has lost touch with himself long, long ago, and who, it could be argued, needs a
makeover of the most fundamental type. He doesn’t remember himself, has lost his integrity, is emotionally unavailable to those around him, and is completely stuck in a façade of a lifestyle.
Enter Rusty. Rusty is a 7 year old boy who mysteriously
drops in to Russ’s life. Soon, the viewer learns that Rusty is really Russ, and has come to help his adult self get back in touch with what used to be important to
him,--not to mention hope, joy, generosity, and a sense of possibility.
What would you do if you met yourself as a child? How
would you help yourself grow up? How would you listen to, and honor, what the child that was you is asking of you? What lessons would the child you were have to
teach you now? In this movie, Rusty reminds Russ that he has grown up to be a lonely, driven, cranky man. Rusty reminds Russ that he used to want a dog, and a red
pickup truck, and to be a pilot – not a person who teaches people how to lie about who they really are so that others will like them.
Russ finally accepts Rusty and through this relationship,
he comes to terms with incidents in his past that deeply affected him, and now, as an adult, he sees them with new eyes. As he watches Rusty go through them, he
understands them differently. He becomes Rusty’s advocate, which helps him move from his survivalist ways of coping to dancing in life to thrive. In essence, Rusty
helps Russ write a new story for himself.
One of the strongest messages in the movie is about
honoring the spirit within, being able to see ourselves as the small child we once were, full of hope, full of the desire to be good, to be liked, to belong. How many
adults have snuffed this part of themselves out? We sometimes forget that we can make new choices.
One of our jobs as coaches is to help our clients embrace
all that they are, including all the parts of their path that have brought them to our offices. This movie is an excellent, touching story for coaches to recommend to
clients who may be struggling to remember themselves and what they love. In the end, Russ belongs to himself in a new way, and, his relationship to himself and his future
is full of possibilities that he wouldn’t have seen had he not embraced the kid who was buried inside of him.