I saw The Soloist over the weekend. I don't want to spoil the movie, but I really enjoyed the way it focused on the relationship between the two characters. It could have easily stereotyped mental illness or used the film as a political soapbox around medication or homelessness. While these issues came up, the central message was one of the power of choice and the power of relationship.
I also happen to enjoy the way the craft of writing was woven into the story. A journalist comes upon the main character and moves from seeing him as a "story" in the distant, objective sense to investing in his story and becoming part of it.
Stories are central to who we are. Each of us has a story to tell. Even the homeless guy asking for spare change. Even the waiter who is extra nice or extra unkind to you. Even the jerk who cut you off on this morning's commute.
Maybe one of the things I like about movies like this and Stranger Than Fiction is that it blends two of my passions. Words and people. The ability to share our stories is healing. It is what builds relationships.