The first time I watched it I was a senior in college, and I cried until my face puffed up like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Big, soppy, fat irrational tears. Can’t breathe, can’t speak, snot dripping but you don’t care tears. “I love my state and everyone who does something from it because it means that I might be able to too” tears. I cried like that for at least an hour.
And then I cried like that again the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh times I watched it too.
October Sky is just that kind of movie. The kind of movie where you see yourself, your father, and your father’s father in one instant. The kind of movie that makes you prouder than you’ve ever been of where you’re from and makes you want to fight to go farther. It’s the kind of movie that forms the mantra for anyone who has ever been told that they can’t. For anyone who has been told “this is what you’re supposed to do.”
After the 8th time I watched it, I wiped the tears off my keyboard and I wrote Homer Hickam a letter. I told him about my dad’s story and I told him about mine. And I thanked him for believing that he could. For believing that there was no limit to what is possible.
Because in doing so, it gives all of us the permission to believe that too.
If you are looking for something to add to your Netflix queue, make this your number one priority. Watch it and believe in something too. But just know that if you come out of it looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, you can’t say I didn’t warn you!