"Family Man"

with Nicholas Cage

Viewed October 13, 2001

What happens when we get a glimpse of what our life could have been like, if only we had made different choices? That's the issue that Nicholas Cage faces when he's transported back into a different life, one in which he's a family man instead of a high-powered business executive.

We found ourselves tackling similar issues in questions such as Question 5, where several of us commented that we loved the idea of marriage (it's just the people we were married to that weren't such a good idea). Someone else talked about how satisfying her marriage had been (and how effectively they were beginning to reconnect after the kids were gone, until he died), and others of us commented about how pleased we were never to have gotten married at all or to have had children. So we managed to cover all bases on that question.

We acknowledged that many things hold us back when we want something (Question 2), including fear, upbringing, self-image and our beliefs about how other people see us. For one person, however, the highlight of the evening was the reinforcement she got for the idea that most of the time the risk we take by going after what we want is far less than the risk we take by letting the moment slip by.

One of my favorite parts was when one person said that the one thing she'd most like to change in her life (Question 8) would be to have been more open to follow her hunches and intuitions regarding whether or not to get involved in certain relationships. Not that the relationships weren't instructive (in their own painful way), but that if she had listened to that little voice in her head-instead of listening to her overwhelming needs for companionship-she could have created an easier and more satisfying life for herself.

Here are the questions:


  1. How do I know what's really real in my life?
  2. What holds me back when I recognize something that I really want in my life?
  3. What role does LOVE play in my life?
  4. How have PEOPLE or CIRCUMSTANCES given my life meaning?
  5. How do I feel about my choices regarding marriage, family and children?
  6. How do I know when I have the proper perspective on things? Is there even a proper perspective?
  7. Why do I get dissatisfied when I compare my life to the movies?
  8. If I could go back and change some parts of my life, what parts would I change?