review: stutz

i really enjoyed the documentary film stutz by jonah hill. if you are interested in psychotherapy and how it can assist in the healing process, i’d recommend checking it out. caveat: it is not for everyone. it’s a bit arcane, profound, and personal which is radical in our era of homogenized spectacle and pablum, and that’s what i appreciated about it. the intimacy of it.

full disclosure: it took me 3 sittings to complete, and i wonder if it might have been more impactful and effective as a series rather than a 1 hour and 36-minute documentary. JH indicated he wanted to teach and share his beloved therapist stutz’s methods and tools. the reality is, people do better with information broken into chunks so they can integrate and apply their new knowledge. i know this as a professor … overload people with TMI and you lose them quickly.

but there was no way for JH to know that going into the project … going into any unique creative endeavor that doesn’t follow the same old tired script and structure is an act of courage and faith. we need more of that moral ambition and true creativity in our world today.

both jonah and stutz, his therapist, are likeable fellows. they are kind, sensitive, and authentic. they buck the narrative of toxic masculinity and show that it’s not only OK to have feelings and to push ourselves to be vulnerable, but that our healing and happiness actually rely on it.

i love seeing two men from different generations finding commonality and healing together through conversation and friendship. there is so much beauty and potential in male friendships happening all over the world, but our media and entertainment system often lacks the fortitude to show anything outside of its narrow definitions of gender roles and relational dynamics.

on a personal level, i loved how JH embraced the awkwardness of the project, admitting it was perhaps not going so well, and that he had doubts about it but was going to forge on anyway. i relate to it because of my own period of professional transition. i don’t have all my shit figured out but i keep trying. this is part of how we can bring lightness to areas of tension and darkness – by exposing them and continuing to take action. when we share, and take steps, we free ourselves from the bondage of shame, secrecy and dread.

it was cool that JH brought his mom into the film and that they shared thoughts and feelings that they would not have shared otherwise. they were respectful and fair to each other while at the same time sharing real feedback, some of which might have hurt a little. sharing those truths is an act of love. it deepens the connection and helps each of them release the past and let go of pain and tension.

By col

I'm a peaceful warrior, mom, nerd, & animal fan.

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