This summer I chose some films for my 13 year old daughter and I to watch together. As she is maturing and entering 8th grade, I felt there were some applicable topics represented in these movies that are relevant to where she is in life. What better way to discuss via the power of film?
Needless to say, these films are offering me good reminders for my own life.
First off, I'm kicking it old school back to 1993 with What's Eating Gilbert Grape? Johnny Depp is quite the young buck in this story and Leonardo Di Caprio looks barely out of diapers. It's a wonderful yet sad story of 2 brothers and 2 sisters living together in order to care for their obese, housebound mother. I'm not going to lie, the story is sad but there are beautiful components woven throughout as the kids learn what teasing and cruelty based on appearance can do to a person and a family. There is a redemptive quality to it and while I'm not sharing the ending, it's most profound. I also loved the role Juliette Lewis played and I find it was her role that brought a lot of healing to their family.
Moral for my daughter. Treat others with kindness, love and respect. Withhold prejudice and judgments. Choose compassion.
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Yes, I know one of the characters chooses to have sex while at soccer camp. It happens but I'm encouraging my daughter to choose another path. That being said, this film based on Ann Brashare's series is nothing short of amazing. The bond between four newly graduated girls is beautiful and their ties remain strong, even during their summer journeys. Each one of the girls in the film is in the middle of finding her way, passions and direction in life.
There is such a rich relational quality to the film as multiple family dynamics are represented between parents, siblings, new friendships, boyfriends and step parents.
Moral for my daughter: Find friendships that are healthy, that allow you to be truly you and can stand the test of time even when miles distance you. Those kind of friendships are worth preserving.
This is a new release and yes, I'm a sucker for Kevin Costner films. This movie is exceptional in my opinion. It's based on true events about a former high school football coach who moves his family to the town of McFarland, eventually forming and coaching a track team at the high school.
The town of McFarland is predominantly Hispanic, lower income and most of the residents are migrant farm workers, including their kids. This movie challenges us to reach across racial barriers, break down prejudices, socio economic differences and stereotypes. It took a track team to bring their town together and it was awesome. I loved this was a true story.
Moral for my daughter: There is NEVER room for bigotry. We are all connected and no one is better than another. We have opportunities for great, meaningful relationships if we love unconditionally.
Have you seen this one yet? I took both my kids to the theater and we all loved it. Granted, my favorite emotion was sadness but that's a story for another time. The neat thing about this film is that it revealed so much in how we deal with emotions and that it's perfectly healthy and necessary to feel other things than just joy. Otherwise, how would we grow and experience life?
Moral for my daughter Embrace ALL of your personality. It's what makes you, YOU. Emotions are normal and all work together to create a personality. It's how we handle our response that counts.
OK, your turn. What films are you watching this summer?