Friday, July 11, 2008

Definitely, Not

I don't watch tons of movies in theaters these days with two kids and all. I happened to have rented this little romantic comedy so that my wife would watch it with me (she's not so big on No Country For Old Men or The Savages, two other recent viewings).

It was good as far as these things go. There are three women who are real characters who could all possibly be "the one" that the male lead has his daughter with. It keeps you guessing and interested. That is the "definitely" part.

The "not" part however is the way that the movie treats divorce. I understand divorce happens and that no one involved started their marriage hoping for it to happen. My issue is not with the divorce. My issue is with the way that the child is portrayed as not suffering any ill effects from the dissolution of her parent's marriage. The story arc could go towards a reconciliation, clearly the desire of the child, but it doesn't. That is likely realistic. When the arc doesn't go for reconciliation because the male has always loved another more than the girl's mother and the child endorses this enthusiastically, I think we are in some sort of guilt induced delusion. The girl expresses close to no empathy with her mother and is excited about her father's realization that he never loved her mother as much as he does someone else.

If you feel guilty because you want your child to endorse your decisions regarding divorce and past loves but know that there is no realistic way for that endorsement to happen, this is your movie. Otherwise, go to the vault and get When Harry Met Sally. No kids involved there.

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