Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice?
Emily tells her son Paul, now six years old, the story of his life - how she sought motherhood, to be a mom without a husband, to raise a perfect, exceptional child, whom she calls Loverboy. In flashbacks told around a pretend car trip they take - so he can practice driving - we see Paul's infancy, their fun together (sometimes with a manic edge), and his growing desire to go to school and be with other kids. We also flash back to Emily's childhood, with parents so bound up with each other that she's virtually ignored. Is Emily going to be able to let Paul be with others? Or, can she, as in the David Bowie song she sings at a school talent show, construct a life on Mars? Written by
Fitting in with the outside world, respectability, suitability, conformity, were never high on my priority list; neither was normalcy. I admit: I cultivated arrogance. The world would be our school; I wanted to learn it and teach it to you.
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I read this book and saw the film at the Hamptons International Film Festival (10/2005). This is a complex and nuanced story about a single mother's obsessive love for her only child. The story explores the psychology of this obsession and the sometimes sublime, sometimes tragic effects it has on the lives of both mother and son. It is a wonderful adaptation of a novel by Victoria Redel (Greywolf 2001, Harcourt 2002 in paperback) that I imagine would present some challenges given its non-linear time frame and the careful parsing of its secret twists and turns. The acting is superb and the characters portrayed are funny, endearing, and multifaceted. Marissa Tomei and Kevin Bacon are hilarious as the 70's era, sexed up, deliriously in love and sadly neglectful parents. Kyra Sedgwick is brilliant as she confidently captures the complex subtleties of her character, making it easy for the audience to empathize with what would otherwise be, and at times is a difficult and disturbing obsessiveness. Other performances by Sandra Bullock as the sultry and insightful neighbor, Oliver Platt as the nervous and nerdy school administrator, and Matt Dillon as the love interest you can't help but root for, all contribute to what is a very entertaining and meaningful film.
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