A Catholic Priest Shares His Thoughts While Watching Gigi & Nate

by Meaning of Suffering, Movie Reviews and Recommendations

When I first saw the trailer for Gigi & Nate, I knew that I would enjoy the movie.  I could tell that it had a good storyline and it seemed like a nice, feel-good movie that we all need to see every now and again.  Why does it seem that movies with animals have that kind of effect on people?

Gigi & Nate

Gigi & Nate is inspired by true events and recounts how Nate, a young man, becomes a quadriplegic and how he overcomes the challenges he faced with the help of his service animal- a capuchin monkey.  Gigi plays an important role in Nate’s life, especially with therapy, but soon activists call for Gigi to be returned to the wild where she belongs because she poses a threat to society. 

Decisions and Their Consequences

The whole plot of Gigi & Nate rests on the premise of a few bad decisions.  At the beginning of the movie, Nate is jumping off a cliff into a body of water.  Nate’s injury wasn’t immediate but manifested shortly thereafter.  Young people enjoy risky things.  Everyone wants to do something that is fun.  In the moment, one doesn’t think of what could go wrong.  It is only afterward that a person looks back and sees the consequence of their decision. 

The activists become activated to call for reform after Nate makes another poor decision.  These unfortunate events remind the viewer to think before they act.  Picking up a cell phone while driving, for example, could cause an accident and lead to serious consequences for the driver (arrest, guilt) and anyone else involved (long-term injuries, death).  One decision can change the course of your life.  And don’t forget that applies to the spiritual life and our choice to commit sin and what it means for eternity. 

Why Do These Things Happen?

The age-old question of good and suffering comes into play.  Seeing how Nate’s family processes the news and diagnosis only forces one to consider why bad things happen to good people.  Why should a person with his whole life ahead of him suffer such a life-changing and traumatic event?  Gigi & Nate is not a religious movie and doesn’t attempt to answer this question, but the storyline poses it for consideration.  Watching the story unfold, someone might question God’s goodness and be brought to contemplate the meaning of suffering, and by the end see the value of all human life as Nate accepts what has happened and is able to flourish after the accident. 

The Value of Animals

Matt Maher has a song titled “Look Like a Fool” and the opening verse says, “All God’s creatures have a place in the choir.”  God is the author of human life and the creator of all things.  The book of Genesis recounts how God created all the animals and how Adam named them.  Understandably, Nate’s accident caused him to become a bit glum.  When Gigi entered his life, everything began to change.  Gigi was so smart and able to help him with his physical therapy, helping him to make advancements no one believed possible.  God had a purpose for Gigi, and He has a purpose for not only service animals, but all animals.  When I visit people in nursing homes, they always light up when they tell me about the dogs that visit.  A dog, cat, bird, or any animal, can change a person’s life, as was the case with Gigi and Nate.

Gigi & Nate releases in theatres on September 2, 2022, and is rated PG-13 for strong thematic material and language.  The story of this young man’s friendship with a monkey is thought-provoking and will have you contemplating the bigger questions of life.  

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