The Hollywood Movie “Philadelphia” and the Law of Attraction

Philadelphia is a wonderful story showing the Law of Attraction in action. Two of my favorite actors, Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks, play in this film. Tom Hanks plays Andy Beckett, a smart young homosexual lawyer who loves opera. And Denzel plays Joe Miller, a homophobic lawyer, who decides to represent Andy despite his homophobia.

Andy works for a prestigious law firm. He was hired because he was the best. Smart, quick, knowledgeable about the law and passionate about being a lawyer. He is working on one of the most important cases the law firm has had to date. He works day and night to get the final papers drafted and he leaves them on his desk, when he is finished late one night. He leaves instructions for his secretary, who will see them in the morning, to do what is appropriate with them.

All the while Andy is working on this case, he is just learning that he has AIDS. He begins to have lesions on his face and body and so he starts to work at home a lot. He is in and out of the hospital getting tests done and he is trying to hide that fact of his illness from his co-workers. One of his co-workers, another lawyer, recognizes one of the lesions for what it is, AIDS and he tells his boss about it. And at once Andy is let go from the firm, even though just a short time before he had been given a promotion.

Andy is upset, of course about losing his job and begins to seek counsel. He served his clients completely and competently all the time he was at the firm and he is WANTING justice. He knows that he was fired because he has AIDS and of course he will go about proving it.

He goes to 9 lawyers, all of whom have denied him service, when he finally gets to the desk of Joe Miller. Joe also turns him down and we begin to see and hear the depth of his fear of homosexuals.

Andy at one point, when the pressure seems unbearable says “for every problem there is a solution.”

Andy and Joe meet again at the library where they are both doing work and Joe asks if Andy has found a lawyer yet. Andy says “no, but he is a lawyer and will represent himself.’ Joe then decides to take the case. He starts getting to know Andy and his partner Migel as played by Antonio Banderas. He slowly sees them for who they really are, just two people who love each other. And bit by bit the viewers see how one who was in fear begins to let go of the fear and realize what is truth……..and how fear distorts everything and creates a climate of hatred and suspicion.

The transformation of Joe Miller is also seen when he begins to appreciate his wife and his daughter even more than before and truly realize the depths of his love for them.

At one point Andy is reading from a law book and it points out the the social death of AIDS precedes the physical death……a statement that clearly depicts what is happening to Andy at this point in his firm.

Throughout the movie, Andy has tremendous support from all of his family. One can really get the sense of how important this is to a person with this illness. It both informs and educate the viewers about AIDS and homosexuality and the fear attached to both in this culture.

The metaphor that seems to make the most sense for the people in the court room is when Joe Miller compares Andy’s case to one day being seen as caviar and roast duck and the next day a bologna sandwich. And he makes the case that Andy was given the most important case because they knew he was the best……namely roast duck and caviar. And now he is being described as a bologna sandwich.

At one point, on the stand, when Andy is being questioned, he is asked what he likes about being a lawyer and he replies “I love the law and what I love the most about the law is that every once in a while, occasionally, you get to be a part of justice being done.

Also, at one point the defense lawyer begins to feel sick about her role in this spreading of fear.

It is when Andy’s boss is on the stand and he is lying about the situation that Andy gets up to leave and he collapses and gets rushed to hospital.

And the jury knows and realizes that Andy was set up… He was the best and was fired because he had AIDS and the verdict is $243,000 in damages and $4,782,000 in punitive damages.

Andy dies at the end of the movie after everyone he loved, even Joe Miller has said goodbye to him. He last sees his lover Migel and says to him “now I am ready Migel.

Justice has been granted and he is ready……..he got what he had been WANTING. Ask and you shall be given!!