two reasons why this movie had me hooked in the first five minutes:
“why does isabel wear daddy’s underpants? doesn’t she have her own underpants?” and “use your words”
see, it’s not a matter of not having your own underpanties, it’s just a way to be close to the one you want to be closest too. and it’s damn comfortable (with or without layering). it can get a bit lumpy when you put on your jeans, but it’s worth it. also, “use your words” is some of the best advice one can give as parents, or parental substitutes/co-parents. and this movie is really about everyone adjusting to co-parenting, and how our children are really not our possessions. there are few kids who ever complain of having too much love in this world, so no matter how short (or long) your moments are with them, adults make a difference in the lives of children, related or not. withholding children from their parent(s) is selfish and hurts everyone. it also has nothing to do with your relationship(s), which is why jada pinkett is a saint in my books. i’m not sure i’m totally behind the idea of the sympathy largely falling on julia roberts’ side, setting up susan sarandon‘s character as the evil one, redeemed only by her heroic one-woman struggle with cancer. it’s also an interesting comment that by the end, julia roberts’ was learning to “grow up” by letting her work as a photographer slide in order to make more room in her life for the kids who didn’t altogether accept her, and embracing cardigans and “mom” things. i have to bigup ed harris‘ character as a man who is able to balance the feelings of his ex wife, his fiancee, and his kids, but isn’t it always the man who does it all in the movies. it’s just another example of how film is the projection of the way things should be, idealized. in reality, the men that i’ve known (starting from the one who raised me) is that they are not socialized to vocalize their vulnerability so they end up with these complexes about their baby mamas that continue to impact their relationships with their daughters, and spill over to the women they try to date subsequently. i’d like a film to really deal with that (tyler perry need not apply). a young jena malone is believable as the daughter caught between divorce and her own teenage drama, and it’s interesting that i was just reading about her in the back issues of bust that i was trying to soak in like a sponge post-dumplings at the centre for women and trans people yesterday. and though my boondocks’ game has been slipping a bit this season, i have to bigup ill-literacy for posting the episodes from time to time. the last one i saw, “mr medicinal” (which i am choosing to hear as a nod to lauryn‘s “mister intentional“) has granddad trying for medicinal marijuana, a topic that rings true not only in this movie, but on my front porch.