Up in the Air Essay

Up in the Air # 7 In the film Up in the Air there are many dynamic relationships. We first see the main character in the work place; his name is Ryan Bingham and his job is corporate downsizing. Ryan travels all over the country 322 days a year and fires people. He lives a very isolated existence by choice, his second job as a motivational speaker is not very motivational at all. He goes through all of the steps of his speech like hitting targets. His message is one of removing emotional and access baggage.

He feels he has everything under control until two women enter his life for two totally different purposes, but they both have lasting effects on him. Natalie Keener is a young, over achieving woman. She has a plan for the company to save money and become more efficient. She plans to pitch the idea of firing employees via video chat. This idea would cut back on travel time, downsize on the company’s employees and cut cost to virtually nothing. Ryan does not like the idea of this change in the company because it means he will be grounded.

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The thrill of his job is the travel and without that he would have to come home to his empty cold apartment far too often. Not only that, but he would not be able to reach his goal of ten million frequent flyer miles. Ryan takes Natalie under his wing and shows her the ins and outs of his job and what an important asset he is. He shows how the face to face contact helps ease the pain of losing one’s job. Through out his travels, Ryan meets a fierce woman his age, Alex, who seems to be the perfect woman for him.

She racks up just as many miles as he does, keeps a tidy packed bag, and seems to love the life in the air. The two get caught up in a love affair sharing intimate moments with one another. Their relationship is meaningful to Ryan as he looks forward to meeting up with her when planning his next trips. We see a change in Ryan from the beginning of the movie as he moves towards having genuine feelings for Alex, even inviting her to his sister’s wedding. Natalie challenges Ryan to consider developing a relationship with Alex.

Now that he is grounded and convinced that a relationship may be exactly what he needs, he heads to sweet Alex off her feet in a surprise visit to her home. He is crushed when she answers the door just to find her young boys running around and a male voice asking who is at the door. The relationship he was building with Alex was built on complete lies on her part, and that is what crushed him the most. Alex has to remind him of the type of relationship it is that they have which is none at all, an escape.

Ryan opened his hear to Alex, showing her his childhood and his family. Alex gives him nothing in return. In the end, Natalie decides the job is too much stress for her after someone fired actually makes good on a suicide threat. Ryan eventually meets his goal of ten million miles, but is unable to enjoy it because of all the turmoil in his personal life. .The relationships Ryan holds in this movie explain a lot about the type of person he is. He is a thrill seeker, not afraid to take chances and loves the control of his job.

Ryan put himself out there for Alex but was betrayed in the end. Sometimes people are not who they portray themselves to be. Natalie reveals that she ended up in her position because she followed her boyfriend who later dumps her through text message. Alex we discover is married with children and never had very strong feelings for Ryan. She tells him he was just an escape from the reality of her everyday life. Ryan realizes that the one thing he spent all these years running from may be just what he wants in life if he meets the right person.


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