Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Dark and the Daylight

"Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupation,
That's known as the children's hour."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I know I said I was going to talk about movies and food, and in a way this will be about movies, but not the movie "The Children's Hour" but about another movie altogether. What I want to introduce you to is my a movie called "Parenthood". I don't remember when or where I saw this movie but I own the VHS and I watch it often. It is on the top of my list as far as movies go. There are others but this one had quite an effect on me when I first saw it as a struggling step-mom.

What is was remarkable about this movie to me is . . . being a parent was something I came by through marriage by my husband had/has two daughters who were nine and eleven when we married. I was an only child who had never really been around kids that age except when I babysat at that age myself. It was pretty foreign to me and scary.

In "Parenthood" Steve Martin plays a pretty uptight stressed out dad. Father of three, with a wife who has really lost her identity raising three kids, the eldest of whom is having some learning issues and may need to be enrolled in a "special" class. Diane Weist plays a single mom with two kids who are really struggling with the divorce of the parents, their own raging hormones and wanting to be independent.

There is also and really wonderful grandmother, who reminds me very much of my own great-grandmother. She is probably eighty-five plus and filled with the wisdom that can only be acquired through time and living.

The parents of Steve Martin's character have another son who just can't seem to get it together, gambles and is always looking for a "sure thing", get rich quick, with little effort on his own. There are other folks in the movie but I don't want to bore you with a long, blow-by-blow of the whole story.

What I took away from this wonderful movie is that, life is unpredictable, scary and wonderful all at the same time, like a roller coaster. What I found here was a beautiful assemblage of people who represented a cross section of a lot of parents in America. They worry about their kids, will they be smart, will the catch the ball thereby spoiling the other teams hopes of a home run. The daughter who just can't wait to grow up but who is still in high school and in LOVE. The eleven year old boy who is just angry about the loss of his dad, confused about sex and a mom who is so caught up in trying to survive and keep the family afloat but who just doesn't seem to have time to really reach out to the kids.

The young man who is the love interest of the daughter has some great line which I've posted here. I hope the language doesn't offend anyone. Remember, it's his words not mine but I think they really embrace a very profound thought about parenting.

"Cowboy Gil" rescues his nine year old's birthday party when Cowboy Bob is accidentally sent to the wrong party and a stripper shows up for the nine year old's party. I love it. This dad is desperate to have this party be a success so he finds a child sized cowboy hat, makes chaps from a round, green bathroom mat that he splits up the middle and ties on with string. He has pizza cutters attached to his boots for spurs and a child's vest and the red bandanna. Somehow he captures the essence of a cowboy and those little boys buy it. They understand that it is all a made up thing but they are willing to just go with it anyway.

I love this movie. Yes it is a bit sentimental, so what's wrong with sentiment? Real life doesn't always come with everything resolved, but this movie certainly takes you through the pain, laughter and hope that most of us parents feel, on a good day. We want out kids to succeed and be happy, what parent doesn't? "Parenthood" just does it all so deftly, humorously and with such tenderness. I just think that anyone out there who is a parent needs to encouragement and shoring up this flick can provide. It is a feel good movie that shows the ups and downs. It is a great cast, really great. It's a great movie, enjoy the preview. It says in video what I've been saying in words. Enjoy.


Roxie said...

I LOVE a feel-good movie! And Steve Martin has such a good touch with them. Thanks for the good feelings!

The Fibers of Life said...

You are welcome. Glad you enjoyed it. It was fun to write too.

Rose Lefebvre said...

I really enjoyed watching the clips. I had forgotten how fun the movie was. Thanks for the memories!

Rose Lefebvre said...

I am still waiting for new posts to your blog....hint hint!! ;^)