Starting out: The Story Begins
One of the most complicated and at the same time the most attractive characters in the story, Buddy French faces intense conflict within him, which makes him even more peculiar type to analyze. A local policeman, a man who is supposed to fight crime is usually taken for granted by most people, and is often considered a justice machine with no feelings or doubts.
However, in contrast to the widespread idea of a real policeman, Buddy French has to deal with a number of issues in the emotional sphere, like conflicting with his wife and dealing with the sudden surge of passion towards his ex-classmate Sandra.
Moreover, it is obvious that the issue of Buddy’s investigation, namely, gay sex and drugs problems, seems to create the environment in which Buddy feels rather uncomfortable, which his talk with Mackenzie (McIvor 65-66) reveals. Peaking to the hilt, the above-mentioned controversies in Buddy’s life make him undertake the final step to resolve the problems he faces. It is obvious that all Buddy wants is to live peacefully and make the world a safer and better place:
What Lies on the Surface
There is no doubt that Buddy is quite a charismatic character. “Handsome and troubled” (McIvor 4), he is much like a romantic Prince Charmin. However, it must be admitted that the movie director has done everything possible not to turn Buddy into another boring tragic hero.
Adding a peculiar trait of his character or feature of his appearance, the movie softens the roughness Buddy’s character presupposes. For instance, the policeman “chews his nails on the porch” (McIvor 7) or deliberately picks a picture as if to “hide” behind it when having an important conversation with Sandra (McIvor 8).
The Conflict within: Looking for a Shelter
It is evident that Buddy needs some rest from the relationships that trouble him, yet he cannot find the shelter where he can forget about the painful conflict within him. It is essential that Buddy is completely at loss when facing his problematic love affair – as a decisive policeman and a man of strong will, he thinks that he is supposed to solve the complexities at once, yet he fails to cut the Gordian knot, which makes him even more uncertain about his will and power and drives him to even stronger conflict within.
Holding to the life of the ordinary as if it were a life buoy, he looks the most awkward and pathetic way: “Buddy stands on the porch, still holding the armchair. He watches Carol drive off” (McIvor 12).
At this point of utter despair, Buddy looks as close to his antagonist, Dan Jarvis, as he has never had before. Ironically, the only character that must be a complete contrast to Buddy French, the man representing sexual minority and, thus, a person who is supposed to be Buddy’s opponent in the movie, is quite close to him. Both Buddy and his antagonist have quite similar emotional complexities, which makes Buddy’s character ever more complex.
The Climax and the Return Back
Culminating in the moment when Buddy French has to choose whether he wants to stay with his wife Carol or reconcile with Sandra, Buddy’s problem suddenly dissolves, and he lets the feelings go. The ease which Buddy shakes off the past is truly incredible: “Let’s say it was a part of another life,” (McIvor 83) he says to his ex-wife, takes Sandra by the hand and “They walk away from the station together, not touching, but side by side” (McIvor 84). The emotional strain, the painful menace that was ruining his life, leaves him, and Buddy is ready to start all over again. Life goes on in Wilby Wonderful.
McIvor, Daniel. “Wilby Wonderful.” Bridgewater, NS: Palpable Productions, n.d. PDF file.