If Anything Happens, I Love You

If Anything Happens, I Love You is one of the most socially powerful films of 2020.

If Anything Happens, I Love You

Forget the other four Oscar nominated Short Animation films and find a way to see If Anything Happens, I Love You.  It tells a story involving a family’s loss that will leave you transfixed. You will cry without any embarrassment.

To give you an outline of what you are in for, you see an obviously depressed husband and wife eating on opposite ends of a dinner table. They say nothing. He ends up watching TV while drinking and she forces herself to do the laundry.

While removing clothes from the dryer, she finds a child’s shirt. Wrapping it around her face, she cries uncontrollably. You then learn that their daughter has died. 

After their cat opens their child’s door, the couple sit on her bed and recreate memorable moments of her life. That leads them to the day they dropped her off to school where life ended.

You see an empty school hallway that is followed by screams and gunshots. You then see the child’s cell phone on a classroom floor with a text to her parents, “If anything happens, I love you.” You will never experience such agony in any film.

As I left the theater, I was reminded of two things. The first is the emotional agony of a good friend who cut my hair for years. A divorced mother of a 4th grade daughter, the two of them joined relatives for a trip to Florida last fall.

A wreck occurred on the drive south where she and her daughter were thrown from the van as it rolled over. Crawling in a ditch, she found her child lying by a tree. She was dead.

Since then, she has been left emotionally comatose.  Like the parents in this film, it was impossible to heal. She is in the process of selling her house while abandoning her profession. She struggles to find a way to live an honorable life to pay tribute to her daughter. She just wants to see her in the clouds smiling as she says, “I love you, Mom.”

The second thought is the sad fact that we do nothing to address gun violence in this country. Children are shot and killed in school, shoppers are gunned down in Colorado and a doctor, his wife and grandchildren are killed in their South Carolina home. Our political response? “I’ll pray for them.”

That is shocking nonsense and we know it. The death of children and relatives devastates families. We need to do something more than pray. We cannot just turn our back on these emotionally battered Americans while continuing to support the N.R.A.

In the name of parents who were forced to bury their children, let’s address gun safety, shall we?