Good morning on this the twenty seventh day in November, in the Year of our Lord 2016.
I recently read a review of the movie Jerry Maguire which is a twenty year retrospective. Given that I first saw the movie in high school, it turns out it’s been a while. And yet I remember the movie surprisingly well. Or rather, as we do with all movies, I remember pieces of it very well. (In general, I’ve discovered, no one remembers the boring parts of Dr. Strangelove. To me they’re memorable as examples of how much Kubrick wasn’t a great director, which is relevant because I took part of a course in college about how he was. Anyway.) Probably the most famous scene was “You had me at hello.” which was a great response to a heartfelt speech by Jerry, and—aside from the overly clever and blunt dialog—possibly the most realistic scene in the movie. Very little in life is ever decided by the content of impassioned speeches.
The other very famous line from the movie—”You complete me.”—is far more questionable. As a fun thing, I know someone who had a guy try to use that line on her. It was only a year or two after the movie came out, and if I recall correctly, she suppressed a laugh in favor of simply telling him not to quote a movie at her. Ah, teenagers. It’s bad theology, of course, since only God completes people, but if one gives it the benefit of the doubt, it could simply be a reference to complementarity. Complementarity is the idea that men and women are different in matching ways that work well together. But this is nearly the opposite of being completed, at least in the sense of being happy, because complementarity is a tension. It is ideally a tension with respect, but it cannot be anything but a tension. If one is too swift where the other is too slow they will balance each other out, but it will not be a restful balance. If one thinks too much of the moment while the other thinks too much of the future, it will again be a balance, but not an easy balance. And of course it will only be a balance when both have an idea of the Aristotelian mean between the two competing virtues which they embody so that when this tension is resolved near the ideal, both will recognize that this balance is better than if they had gotten their own way without compromise. That one should not always get one’s way unchecked is something only ever learned, it is never instinctive, and it is never restful. Our souls are restless till they rest in God. So like so many things in art, it’s a good line if you take it the right way, and a terrible line if you take it the wrong way.