It’s rare these days that I watch a movie in one sitting and this one was no exception. I found myself watching it over the period of a few days in between my other work obligations. I was a teenager when I read Redeeming Love the book and it was a lot to sit with. I remember thinking that the parental/adult themes warning was legitimate even though it was a sold as a Christian book. Watching the movie reminded me of the whole idea of purity culture and the lack of options many women experienced during the early pioneer/Gold Rush days. The movie was an adaptation of the book which was a more modern day adaptation of a bible story about a man who was told by God to marry a woman of the night. Of course in the movie the “street” was a brothel but you get the general idea. In theory the idea was that the girl was rescued from a life of abuse and given a home in the country with a loving husband. However, she didn’t want to be there and wasn’t interested in any type of romantic relationship. The story had a “happy” ending with her realizing that she loved him and that he had never moved on from losing her. All in all, I can see understand the intended story of redemption but it came across in the movies as extremely manipulative. There was a lack of choice that was appalling because the main character of the story didn’t want to be a wife. She had no interest in the man but he still “bought” her and took her away from all she had ever known. Change can happen but you can’t “save” someone who doesn’t want to be saved and has no interest in what you’re offering.
I’m very late, but I finally watched the movie Acrimony today. I’ll admit that I didn’t have very high expectations but it was a decent movie. There were so many mental health and social psychology applications within the movie. The main character Melinda went above and beyond in trying to ensure that her husband Robert was successful. But throughout the movie it became clear that he was using her. Being the only spouse supporting the family financially for 18 years took its toll on Melinda and she snapped. She had lost herself in the marriage and in its subsequent downfall. She invested heavily in a dream that she saw her husband’s fiance getting and it was too much. The money that she had been given didn’t hold a candle in her mind to spending the rest of her life in luxury with the man that she held down for years. While ten million is nothing to sneeze at, she could never get the time back that she had spent in the relationship. The entire movie was an example of why doing the right things for the wrong person can be detrimental. Melinda’s family was supportive and tried to warn her from the very beginning but she chose her own path. It wasn’t pretty and it was full of frustration and in the end, loss. Yes, she was young when she first met Robert but she put up with working two jobs and leaving him at home sleeping every day for well over a decade. It’s good to believe in people but there has to be a limit. Yes, there were definitely some mental health implications but Melinda was incredibly hurt and she absolutely did not have the coping skills in place to adequately deal with a loss of that magnitude without losing her mind. She just couldn’t walk away and in the end she paid the cost.
via Wiz Khalifa – See You Again ft. Charlie Puth [Official Video] Furious 7 Soundtrack —
This song was played so many times that I almost got tired of it. Until I saw the movie. It fits perfectly into the tribute to Paul Walker. I remember being in the theater with my sister and there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. Even the macho guys were sniffling and trying to discreetly clear their throats. I can’t claim any sort of emotional attachment to the Furious series. I haven’t watched all the movies and I have no idea what the general plot is. But the song evokes emotions and just has a general feel of expressing sadness. It’s fitting.
A few days ago I took some time to watch the movie Losing Isaiah. There was a certain sense of urgency as Netflix was about to take it off in order to make room for more movies. I first saw the movie at my grandparents house in Michigan. I remember renting it with my very own library card when I was 9 or 10 and watching it in the living room sprawled out on the very comfortable carpet. I remember being happy in the end that the baby was returned to his biological mother. However, this time I watched the movie with a different perspective. One that’s been informed by several years of being a social worker and working with families and kids. The movie brings up some interesting questions that are still relevant today. A mother abandons her baby in a trash can. The baby is born addicted to drugs because she used substance while pregnant. A kind social worker at the hospital he is transported to adopts him. She and her family raise him as her own. Meanwhile, the baby’s mother gets her life together after finally becoming sober and decides that she wants him back because he’s her child and she never received notice that her parental rights were being terminated. So there’s a lengthy court battle where bio-mother’s lawyer insists that black babies need to be with their black mothers. However, there is a marked difference between the income of biological mother versus that of the family that has adopted the child. The life that he lives with his adopted family is vastly different than the one that his bio-mother can finance. The movie ends with full custody being given to the bio-mother who soon realizes that she needs additional support so she reaches a hesitant agreement with her son’s adoptive mother. There are certain situations where I don’t think people should be allowed to have a do over. I don’t think that any child should be denied access to their family of origin but primary custody should have remained with the adoptive parents until the child was old enough to make a decision. I’ve met a good amount of parents who have adopted kids and then decided that they were too hard as a result decided to relinquish custody back to the state. I’ve worked with parents who have voluntarily given up custody of their children because they felt powerless and felt that their lives or the lives of the other children in the home were at risk. It’s a hard decision to make. My whole point is that kids shouldn’t be taken out of a loving, stable, and safe environment because their bio-parent decides that it’s for the best. There were other options that would have allowed Isaiah to stay where he was happy. Yes, children can be resilient and they can recover but there’s no need to inflict that trauma on a child and mess up his primary attachment so that he can be with a black parent. No reason. It’s cruel and unnecessary.
Not too long ago there was a pretty big discussion on social media related to the movie release of Fifty Shades of Gray. The book brought attention to a lifestyle that normally isn’t broadcasted in the mainstream. People were giving their opinions on how the storyline lends itself to glorifying unhealthy relationships and some in the faith community were questioning the piety of those who chose to go see it. I’m a curious person by nature and I never got caught up in the original discussion when the books were released but wanted to know what it was all about. I’m a fan of being informed before I form an opinion so I decided to do some research and read the books for myself. Within a few minutes of making the decision the books were downloaded on my phone for easy reading. Or so I thought. There are some books you read and they just seem to flow but I had to read the series in spurts because it was a really choppy read. Anyway, throughout the course of the book, the author draws so many conclusions to explain the behaviors that are pretty colorfully described. We have a young college student who is so enthralled at first sight with someone that almost loses her individuality in the process and spends a significant bit of time pacifying his insecurities. Sidenote: I’ve always questioned the intelligence of people who insist that you should only date one person in your lifetime and treat everyone else as your brother or sister until this “one” arrives. Ana has no point of reference in this department and ends up in a relationship she might not have chosen for herself if she had something to compare it to. But I digress. The relationship develops somewhat awkwardly but before we know it, Ana is already staying at his penthouse and declaring her jealousy of someone she has not met but already come to the conclusion that she doesn’t like. One of the assumptions is that Christian is controlling because of a relationship in his adolescence and his childhood. Ana initially balks at his expensive gifts but becomes used to them and “their” money as he tells her. To say that Christian is controlling is an understatement considering the fact that he buys a company in order to “keep her safe.” The lesson in this is that it’s one thing to be controlling but a person with money who is also very controlling isn’t always the best thing. It might work well in business but doesn’t create the healthiest relationship.
Recently, I had a small amount of free time and decided to spend it watching the controversial movie The Interview. First off, it was a movie I never would have paid to go to. However “free ninety-nine” was a price I could afford. There aren’t many movies that I’ve seen where I’ve thought the world would be a better place if it had never been made, and this one definitely fit in that category. First off, I’m a funny person although most people don’t know that about me. I have a super dry and sarcastic at times type of humor. That being said, the scene in the movie with the Eminem interview was the best part. However, the story line just went downhill after that. I’ve seen The Dictator before and The Interview was pretty much the same thing to the nth degree. To make a comedy about an existing country and their still living leader could not have been the brightest idea ever. As I said before, I like comedies but I found myself laughing and then remembering that it wasn’t funny because it was an actual country with people who probably are experiencing a lack of some of the rights that citizens in some other countries have. The humor could be easily classified as dark and it was definitely not a “feel good” movie. The ending moral of the story was that you can’t trust that a foreign leader is telling the truth and that they are always waiting to stab you in the back or attack you. Not a great message when world peace is still clearly needed in the world.
I’m not much of a moviegoer but I heard so many good things about the movie, “Selma” that I decided I had to see it for myself. If you don’t like movie spoilers you should probably stop reading this now. This movie brought out a lot of emotions due to its content. My perspective was definitely influenced by the fact that I was born and raised for the majority of my childhood in Alabama. I’ve personally been to the Montgomery courthouse and grew up in a city that wasn’t very far away from Selma. It seemed like a long movie (two hours and some change). This was probably because of the content of the movie. One thing that I noticed was that there were a lot of parallels between what happened then and the recent stories of police brutality that have been all over the media. If I had a child I would want them to be at least in their pre-teens before seeing this movie. The scenes aren’t super gory but there’s something to be said about watching the movie with the knowledge that the events portrayed actually happened. One thing I appreciated was that the actors and actresses resembled the people they were portraying. Overall, it was a good movie. I didn’t have any complaints about the storyline and the directors didn’t take an inordinate amount of creative liberties with the story. I walked away from the movie with more resolve to become educated on what is happening in the political world in order to vote appropriately. After all, people were beaten and even died for that ability.
I like Tyler Perry. Despite the fact that I’ve never met him personally, I admire his story have enjoyed the videos that he’s posted. Despite this, I haven’t cared for all of his theater and movie productions. Netflix recently put his movie, Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor on their site and I recently watched it for the second time hoping that it would be better. Not so. One of the downfalls to having an actual background and experience being a therapist is that you tend to critique the way that therapy is portrayed on the big screen. However, the movie definitely sheds some light into marriages and portrays a situation that has been repeated in millions of marriages. But first, let’s talk about why Judith (the marriage counselor) feels that it’s necessary to monopolize the entire session with her client telling her a story about her supposed sister who is really herself. Self-disclosure much. But I digress. The breakdown of Judith and Brice’s marriage involves both of them. They are both busy people who are stressed by their jobs but rarely take the time to actually spend with each other. Both feel neglected by the other but they have not discussed this with each other. They have been together for years and have slowly slid into the place where their marriage just “is.” It becomes more of a habit for them than anything else. This is when the problem arises. Harley enters the scene as everything Judith has ever imagined or dream of. You can see in the movie that Judith attempts to seek Brice out for emotional connection but he is closed off and totally blows her off. This rejection is the last straw for Judith who then decides that her life would be better with Harley. The interesting thing is that Brice also makes heartfelt gestures to save the marriage but he is promptly rejected by Judith who has decided that he’s too late and that her decision has already been made. This leads to the demise of the relationship and marriage. The irony of all this is that Judith works as a matchmaker who puts people together. This movie tells the story of millions of people and their marriages. Just because the grass looks different doesn’t always mean that it’s greener. Judith learns this lesson the hard way after she discovers that the man she thinks she loves is not only abusive but also infects her with AIDS. Not the greatest ending ever. I say all this to say that Judith and Brice’s marriage was fix-able. Judith left her husband because of an emotional connection with another and because all her gestures and attempts at connecting with her husband had no results. When she finally realizes what a mistake she’s made it is too late to make amends and her (now) ex-husband belongs to another. It’s taken her too long to come to her senses. The problem is that both took the other for granted until it was too late. They assumed that just because they were married things would work out. They didn’t take the time to actively work on the marriage and to meet the emotional needs of the other and both paid the price of the failed relationship.
So this song has been pretty popular the past couple of months. There’s a rumor that Pharrell tried numerous times to get this concept off the ground before the movie actually picked it up. The song is super catchy and the music video(s) involve people singing and dancing to the song at all hours of the day and night. There’s a website that plays the music video 24/7 and you can also watch it in one hour increments. While I am someone who gets easily annoyed after the first 5 minutes of a song (with the exception of classical music), I’ve actually listened to three hours of this song over and over again. We all know people who appear to be happy all the time. I don’t know anyone who actually IS happy all of the time (unless they are happily psychotic, but that really doesn’t count). While songs like this would traditionally be way too “happy” for me, it’s a song that can put you in a better mood. Despite the fact that in no way am I a poster child for being in a constant state of euphoric happiness, I’ve learned to genuinely enjoy and appreciate the moments where happiness sneaks up on me and surprises me. This song just talks about being happy without there being an apparent reason. Great concept. Good melody. Pharrell made a great song that embodies a feeling that most people want to have, and, (totally unrelated), he does NOT look 40.