In the film Up in the Air relationships are the topic. We are first introduced to the main character in the work place. His name is Ryan Bingham and his job is corporate downsizing. Ryan travels all over the country 320 days a year and fires people. Ryan lives a very isolated existence by choice, his second job as a motivational speaker is not very motivational at all. 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 reasons, but they both have lasting effects on his life.
Natalie Keener is a young, over achieving, and very naive woman. She has a plan for the company to save money and get more work done. Her idea is to start firing people over the internet in a video chat. Ryan is not too happy about this because he will be grounded meaning no more flying all over the country he actually has to live in his apartment. Not only that, but now he won’t be able to reach his goal of ten million frequent flyer miles. Ryan challenges Natalie to get in the trenches with him and see exactly what it is that he does.
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Ryan meets a woman his age named Alex and she seems to be the perfect woman for him. She travels as much as he does and seems to enjoy it just as much. The two get caught up in a love affair and they share some pretty intimate moments with one another. Ryan takes Alex with him to his sisters wedding, which is a shocker to everyone because this is the man who has devoted his life to avoiding relationships and commitment. Natalie challenges Ryan to consider developing a relationship with Alex.
Now that he is grounded and catching feelings Ryan decides to give it a try, and finds a married Alex with two children very surprised to see him. Alex has to remind him of the type of relationship it is that they have which is none at all. Natalie decides that the job is too much for her after someone they fired actually makes good on a suicide threat. Ryan does eventually get to ten million miles, but is unable to enjoy it because of all the turmoil in his personal life. .I really enjoyed this movie it shows that sometimes when people think they know what they want they don’t.
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.