Psychology lessons for single parents and teenagers
Nobody wrote a review yet? Less than five votes? Do people really watch only James Bonds and American Pies?
O.K. it's not a masterpiece and I won't include it on my top-10 or even a top-50, but I'm very glad I've seen it. I saw it one Sunday morning, when TV usually broadcasts movies for younger kids (like Pippi Langstrump or Tow Sawyer or Lassie kind of stuff) or even cartoons. This is definitively movie for a different audience: nothing younger kids shouldn't see, they just won't understand a quarter of it. You must be at least in early teens and be living it, or be older and know some psychology, or be a parent (especially recommended for them!).
Up till now no summary and no review have been written, so I'll write
** a long spoiler **
Emma is a teenage girl whose parents are divorced. She's been living alone with her mother Alice for years, and she is astonished when her mother brings home a widowed man Pierre with daughter Helen, a little older than Emma. Afraid she will lose her position in house Emma is hostile to newcomers, but soon she's shocked even more when she finds how different Helene is. After death of her mother she became insecure, afraid of emotions (yet keeps last piece of her mothers' furniture like a relic); she smokes, wears Emma's and Alice's clothes without permission, finds comfort in occasional sex and enjoys torturing Emma. Both girls are competitive for (step)parents' love hiding their true emotions and relations. Alice and Pierre try to treat girls equally and find them both equally guilty when the damage is done...
This movie could have become a girl-version of "The Good Son", but fortunately the authors kept on developing drama. Emma's and Helene's characters express feelings for a whole psychology book. (I told my daughter who was preparing a psychology exam that this movie is a short recapitulation of her lessons).
** spoiler mostly over **
So many negative emotions, so disturbed relations, manipulations, torturing; and yet it's again love that conquers everything, changes people and solves problems. But it's not the sweet deus-ex-machina end, when everyone is happy, hugging each other, forgiving and forgetting whatever happened (like Cosby Show). No, people must learn to forgive, and first they must change themselves to be able to do it. And it's something really worth for whole family to watch (and feel, and maybe discuss).
Some people won't watch movie if there is nudity in it; I'm not one of them, but I respect it. All the others - don't be afraid of it, I've almost never seen so useful, even necessary nudity in a movie, and it's just in two scenes. It helps understand Helene, describes her state (when she explains Emma what sex means to her). According to reviews (not only on IMDb) I'm afraid this scenes may diminish chances for US audience to see it (Helene is supposed to be 16). That seems quite hypocritic knowing all those US teen comedies where 80% sentences are related to sex; most sitcom jokes are also sexual; not to mention that often only few square inches of body are covered (sometimes not by clothes but flowers in vase or back of armchair or...) - and such movies are blockbusters or prime-time serials, while few nude scenes with no sex make movie inappropriate (read reviews for e.g. Academy winner "My Life As a Dog" or "Ratcatcher", watch it and compare to American Pie type of teen hits. Or is it just because those are European?). I just hope it won't be butchered (a "cut version" - I believe movies should never be cut, if they're inappropriate, just don't show them!). And Alice's remark about nudity could also be helpful if you can't start talking about it with your children. It's typical French (or Danish, Swedish... European)
nudity is natural, but everyone has a right to chose. (Democracy as in
best American theories.)
Single parents can be warned on many possible troubles that may occur in their families, widowed as well as divorced. Helene's aggressive depressions shouldn't hide Emma's manipulation. Emma is the hero of this movie, but is far from being perfect, a saint or a pure victim!
This is a long review because nothing's been written yet. It is a good movie but not excellent; it's biggest value is what it can do to you, so you can understand your family and maybe prevent some traumas.
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