Archive | August 14, 2014

Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Robin Williams and the Characters He Played-part 2

Welcome Back to Soupfly

The outpouring of sentiments and tributes for Robin Williams has been continuous on all forms of  media including  Social Media the past few days.  Here is my contribution with the continuation of other Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Robin Williams and the Characters He Played.

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It seems to me that there were some common themes in many of Robin Williams’ movies.  Themes of  Love and Sacrifice, Non-conformity and Championing the cause of the little guy.  He also played the role of a doctor of one type or another in at least 5 films that I’m aware of: Dead Again, Awakenings, Patch Adams, Good Will Hunting and What Dreams May Come.  His films brought comfort, emotional healing and happiness to many.



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Based on the real life story of Dr. Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams, in this movie Williams’ character uses unconventional methods of treatment to bring joy and laughter to the children in the cancer ward.  His style of care and apparent disdain for the established medical school’s norms put him at odds with the administration but makes him a hero to the suffering children.

“You treat a disease, you win, you lose.  You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win no matter what the outcome.” Robin Williams as  Patch Adams

Patch Adams used laughter therapy right alongside conventional medicine to treat his patients.  He also founded the Gesundheit Institute-Where would you rather go if you were sick-St. Something Memorial Hospital (the word ‘memorial’ in it it doesn’t sound like there’ll be a very promising outcome) or the Gesundheit Institute?  Gesundheit actually means “good health”.

Patch Adams is such a heartfelt uplifting movie.  It inspires hope.  It shows the power that bringing joy and laughter into someone’s life actually has.  It’s a power that can lift the human spirit and can aid in the healing process.  People who are joyful seem to be more healthy.  If you’ve never seen the movie Patch Adams-do yourself a favor and see it.  Like many of Robin Williams’ movies it’ll make you laugh and cry but you’ll be glad you did.


LESSON 7-  FAMILY  FIRST  (Mrs. Doubtfire)

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I’m sure we’ve all seen this movie.  It’s a classic.  Robin plays Daniel Hillard who, after a painful divorce and losing custody of his 2 children,  proves that he is willing to do everything and anything in order to be with his children, including dressing up as a woman and pretending to be a nanny.  While it is definitely a very funny film, it is again, another emotional heart tugger.  I titled this blog, Lessons I’ve Learned…but I can honestly say that I have NOT been the amazing parent that Daniel Hillard was in Mrs. Doubtfire.  He was willing to go through any lengths to be with his children. What self sacrifice.   I know I’m still learning.  What a wonderful example to us all.  Thank you Robin for this  beautiful portrayal.



(Good Will Hunting)  

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There are many underlying themes portrayed throughout Good Will HuntingFear of abandonment, Fear of not being loved, Feelings of unworthiness.  The film follows the story of Will Hunting who is a math prodigy who has been in and out of foster care his entire life.  He finds himself in trouble with the law and in exchange for getting him out of having to serve jail time he is required to go through therapy.  Robin Williams plays Sean Maguire the therapist he ends up meeting with.

Everytime I watch this movie I am brought to tears.  There’s at least two scenes that are filled with such raw emotion that really images (85)hit me.   One is when Will (played by Matt Damon) is at Skylar’s (Minnie Driver) apartment and she confronts him about his fear of loving and being loved.  She says “Will, tell me you don’t love me.”  And as he walks out the door he says “I don’t love you.”  Because of all the rejection in his life he couldn’t bare to be rejected again.  So he preemptively does the rejecting.  If you haven’t seen the film I don’t want to give too much away.  But do yourself a favor and rent it, buy it, watch it.  images (84)

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Live everyday to the fullest.  Make your life extraordinary.  This film is inspiring to say the least. Don’t be a conformist.  Stand upon the desk of your life and look at things from a different perspective.  Find your own voice.  Live for today.

Now go watch the movie.

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“O Captain! my Captain, our fearful trip is done / the ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won.”



LESSON 10 -LOVE CONQUERS ALL- (What Dreams May Come)


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This is probably one of Williams’ lesser known films but to me it is an extraordinary story that at it’s core is about the power of love between two soul mates who, even in death, cannot be separated.  Williams’ character-Dr. Chris Nielsen is not only willing to but actually does traverse hell to find and be reunited with the love of his life-his wife Annie. This movie will rip your heart out.  But it’s one of my all time favorites.  I want to have the kind of love for my soul mate, my wife-Michelle that Williams’ character in this movie has.  I’m still working on it.

“What’s true in our minds is true whether some people know it or not.” Chris Nielsen in What Dreams May Come 

“A whole human life is just a heart beat in heaven.”  Chris Nielsen in What Dreams May Come  



Robin Williams, you inspired us, entertained us, made us laugh and made us cry.  Thank you for sharing your voice with the world.  Thank you for touching my life.   I will close with a quote from my son, Josiah’s, post  on Facebook from last night, “I’m gonna miss you, Genie.”

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Thank you for reading.

Please share on Social Media 

Christoff J. Weihman