Have you ever heard of or watched the movie “Stuart Saves His Family”? It is such a funny movie and it is very comical. The movie is about a self-proclaimed improvement guru by the name of Stuart Smalley who gives advice on a television show. As the show airs, he gives his viewers guidance and encouragement to overcome life’s challenges and to accept one’s faults, feelings and circumstances. He also urges his viewers to let go of the past, to think positively and engage in daily affirmations.
Stuart Smalley is a bit dorky, has a bad wardrobe, horrible hairdo and he has a bit of a lisp or odd tone to his voice as he speaks. His physique and physical appearance does not fit the standards of what society portrays as ideal attractiveness. The cardigan sweaters he often wears look hand knitted and outdated.
If Stuart were a real person, he would be on that show “What Not to Wear” and they would do a fashion overhaul and chuck out all of his clothes. But one thing about the movie that struck me was that Stuart is like most of us who are on the quest to fill our lives with meaning. He is positive, helpful and caring, and just wants the best for his family.
The challenges Stuart faced growing up and his constant need to save his family is what makes this movie a hit. Later in the film, Stuart has an epiphany and realizes the need to change himself rather than his dysfunctional and overbearing family. Despite his family circumstances, Stuart is a really quirky, overly eager, optimistic & cheerful character. He often looks in a mirror saying things to affirm his self-worth. He would say things like:
“I am good enough, I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.”
“I deserve good things; I am entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am an attractive person. I am fun to be with.”
In the film, Stuart is portrayed as a fanatical and obsessive self-improvement guy that constantly thinks positive thoughts and addresses himself in the mirror. Most people would think that this is extremely odd behaviour… especially for those who think that engaging in self talk is lame & ridiculous.
And perhaps, Stuart fits the stereotype of what some people feel would be a self improvement guru…someone who is odd and out of place within society.
Also, the genre of music playing in the film really heightens the overall feeing that Stuart Smalley’s television show is lame, cheesy, or pathetic — despite the fact that there is some truth behind his words & advice.
I have also found that there is a deeper meaning to the film that relates to human behaviour; one that we can all learn from. It depicts the faulty thinking that humans can sometimes possess. For example, we sometimes feel the need to help or save others, or we give too much of ourselves to our family, when in reality we need to focus on changing ourselves first. The film teaches us that instead of running to the aide of others all the time, we need to change our own thought processes, overcome our personal adversities, engage in positive affirmations on a daily basis & go after what we truly want out of this life.
Here is the trailer for the movie:
If you have watched the trailer, you can see how hilarious this movie can be. Some people may think that those who are religiously committed to improve themselves are self-improvement junkies, like Stuart Smalley. Perhaps I am a self-improvement junkie myself; I have immersed myself in self-improvement books, have gone to events, and currently have a coach that I Skype with on a weekly basis to keep me accountable for the goals I have made.
I wholeheartedly agree with Stuart Smalley when he says “I am entitled to my share of happiness” and this is what I am striving for… a fulfilling and happy life enriched with memorable events & no regrets.