When movie, Joe vs Volcano came out in 1990 it didn't get good revues, in fact many of critics believed it was Steven Spielberg's attempt at comedy and a flop at that.
But inside what seems like a comedy/romance there are some real gems of inner life wisdom.
Joe is an ordinary guy (played by Tom Hanks) who is stuck in a despicable job with despicable people. His life is pitiful, plus Joe's a hypochondriac on top of it all.
Joe goes to doctor after doctor and finally Dr. Ellison (Robert Stack) tells Joe he has a terminal brain cloud with only a short time to live. So Joe quits his job, tells his boss off and takes secretary out for dinner.
An eccentric billionaire Samuel Harvey Graynamore played by Lloyd Bridges, approaches Joe and promises to give Joe lifestyle he always wanted and it all ends with Joe jumping into volcano to appease fire god.
See, there is a mineral on an island called Waponi Woo that Graynamore needs and a volcano (the Big Woo), which needs a human sacrifice every 100 years. So Joe agrees to make big leap.
Joe gets lifestyle of a king then is transported to Waponi Woo by billionaire's daughter Patricia, played by Meg Ryan.
Joe was a hero in fire department before going to work in his present job. He had courage. Part of Joe vs Volcano is about courage.
But Joe lost his courage and sold his soul to Mr. Waturi (his old boss) for a lousy 300 bucks a week. Joe was afraid. Afraid of losing his despicable job, afraid to say what was on his mind for fear of upsetting his boss, afraid to live his life, afraid to make a change.
And Joe became soul sick, he knew he was losing his soul.
Joe's life was controlled by one thing: Fear.
When Dr. Ellison told Joe he had terminal brain cloud, Joe was already dead. He didn't have a life, he was in a situation that he put up with every day for a paycheck and a totally false sense of security.
The minute Joe said he would jump into volcano, it was then that Joe once again regained and refound his courage.
It was at that point that Joe began waking up out of his psychic slumber and started to become alive.
Joe had allowed himself to be controlled by his own thoughts of illness and allowed himself to be a victim, which lead him to despicable lifestyle he found himself in.