I knew I should have brought tissues to A Theory of Everything, but the story of Jane and Stephen Hawking has a happy ending, right? Right. So I’ll be OK. Everything will be OK.
Friends, this film is an amazing, emotional roller coaster. Even at the happiest moments, you’ll well up because of the sheer strength of will, determination, and the constant burden of living with disease that is life for these characters. If you know a little bit about the famous physicist, you’re familiar with his condition and confinement to a wheelchair. Everyone knows he needs a computerized device to speak his trademark robotic voice. Do you know how it happened? It’s a love story. BRING THE WHOLE DAMN TISSUE BOX.
When Stephen was working on his PhD, he was a clever, adorably awkward young man who saw a woman across a room and invited her to a dance. He didn’t like to dance so he impressed her with his knowledge of science. Totally legit moves. They work for me every time. She wasn’t that impressed, especially because he declared that he didn’t believe in God, but there was something about him that she fell in love with. While walking through the University courtyard, he falls, smashing face first to the ground. The doctor tells him he has a motor neuron disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and probably only two years to live. He was 21. That was in 1963. He is still alive today.
Jane and Stephen get married, have children, and he revolutionizes the world of physics. I don’t think we got enough science in the film, but I’m a scientist, so I always think that and most people don’t give a shit about black holes (unless they are inaccurately portrayed in Interstellar and then everyone is a goddamn expert). While he lives with the disease, he slowly degenerates. He can’t walk anymore. She carries his wheelchair. He struggles to breathe. She tells the doctors to save him. He can’t speak anymore. She hires someone to build him a new voice. He realizes she’s lonely and in love with a friend. She fights to stay with him. He lets her go. She lives happily ever after. He becomes the closest thing the physics community has to a rock star.
Fuck me. This movie is beautiful. It’s all the cliché of classic romance rolled up with a true story of beating the odds. You won’t be able to help yourself, this movie is well crafted to make you fall in love and cry your face off. The performances of Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are heartbreaking. I don’t know how he did it, but Redmayne is phenomenal as Hawking at every stage of degeneration. It’s a beautiful journey about a bitter sweet love story in the life of a famous, brilliant man.
The Theory of Everything is an excellent film. Did they cheat some of the real life facts? Of course. As another famous white dude said, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” So, check out the film and then get inspired to read some of Stephen Hawking’s books. He’s a pretty amazing guy.
– Roz Y.