Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pondering: The Way, Way Back

Finally, the angels are singing!!
A real movie. A new, fresh, thought provoking movie.
THE WAY, WAY BACK is a sweet, sweet movie about a young kid, Duncan, (Liam James, the young Shawn in PSYCH) who is the only one sane in a world of insanity, on a summer vacation to the beach with his desperate mother, played by Toni Collette (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, EMMA), and his mother's cruel boyfriend (Steve Carell THE OFFICE, SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD).....

Duncan's sanity for the summer comes in the form of "the girl next door"...

Played by Anna Sophia Robb, (BRIDFES TO TERABITHIA, SOUL SURFER) and a bunch of misfits characters at the local, run down water park, led by Sam Rockwell, (SEVEN PHYCOPATHS and COWBOYS AND ALIENS)

Two of the misfits, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash...

Just happened to write and directed the whole thing too- the idea coming from Rash's stepfather telling him what Duncan hears from his mom's boyfriend in the opening sequence of the film.

This is the duos first directing stint, but they did co-write DESCENDANTS...

which won  an academy award for Best Adapted Screenplay and was previewed up at the Telluride Film Festival in 2011.

We saw THE WAY, WAY BACK at a Saturday matinee and there were a respectable amount of people there- lots of couples and the majority older then us, our kiddo was the only teenager in the theater. Is anyone doing demographic studies of who is going to what movies? Cause old people, and thirty somethings and up actually have more money to spend then the younger folks- go figure Hollywood! And we tend to enjoy movies that are less expensive to make, but enough with my rant.

Being a child of divorce- what struck me watching this movie was how well it depicted the insanity that adults try to ram down kid's throats, when they decided to go off and do such a selfish thing as break up a family. Most kids are not stupid and in their gut, like all of us, know truth, but struggle with it, because they love their parents. I know I did.

Even today, as a teacher, youth group leader and an observer to my kiddo's friends I have witnessed the subtle brain washing that has to go on to convince children that the reality of their whole world being ripped apart is actually a good thing.

Bribery greatly helps. What child would not love a summer of freedom at the beach or in real life perhaps gifts and special weekends with daddy after months of tension and fighting. Forty years later, I still vividly remember the weekend of a nice hotel, pools and fancy dolls when I found out I had a step mother.

The reality of divorce, the reality of childhood really, is we have no say, no voice to what horizon our parents are sailing us to, or if  they change course mid way.

What to do about, I do not know, though, several years ago I read a fascinating book, or listened to it,  called THE MALE BRIAN by Louann Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist on male's  brain development through every stage of life....

Gosh that make me sound so "heady" which I am not and it really is a good book and an easy read, she has one on the female brain as well...

Two interesting facts I remember- in kissing- male spit is full of hormones and helps females be more responsive and...

Men bond with their babies through skin to skin contact, which is why I brought up the book in the first place, though the spit thing is interesting.

How to get really good dads, make sure they are hands on from the beginning. Reality in parenting as in everything- out of sight, out of mind really does apply. Sadly the US is one of only a handful of countries who do not have paternity leave for new dads. Interesting side note- mothers- who take more maturity leave then the usual six weeks have a much harder time leaving their babies.

Then there is the whole factor of women who always have to have a man and often sacrifice their children to keep him, as in Duncan's case throughout most of the movie.

Although not my experience growing up, I have seen  mothers, in their desperation to not be alone have not been the protector they should have been and left their child to be the mature one. The needed for a man is a powerful one, a curse really, the Bible says given in punishment for Eve's picking of the forbidden fruit...
 Your desire shall be for your husband,
 And he shall rule over you
Genesis 3:16

THE WAY WAY BACK shows all of this in a wonderful open and raw way, Duncan the holder of truth but powerless and unprotected against the insanity around him, his only oasis a run down water park of misfits.

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