Tuesday, April 18, 2006

the squid and the whale. if you don't want to know about the movie, then don't read this post. there's also a bit at the end, don't read that too.

if you've ever been touched by divorce, i recommend this movie, the squid and the whale. it's harrowing in parts but deftly done. and it has the added bonus of a baldwin, thrown in, along with laura linney, jeff daniels and the rest.

my parents divorced when i was about 14. there's a scene in the movie when the parents sit the kids down to tell them, and the anguish on the younger brother's face made me remember my own situation. my parents sat me and my brother down on the couch to tell us. i can recall my inner voice screaming, no, no, no. i knew it was coming, i knew what they were about to say. the younger brother in the movie also knew, and his face screws up with tears, even before they speak the words.

i remember looking out our loungeroom window to where my younger sister was doing cartwheels on the grass. i remember thinking she's so lucky, she doesn't know yet.

then a generation later, a lifetime later, princess and ali and me are sitting on my bed. we are telling her that we are going to get divorced. i still feel bad about it. but there was nothing else we could do. it was just too hard and we were just too miserable.

i used to tell people that my parents breaking up was the best thing for all of us. that i couldn't have gotten to know each of my parents as individuals had it not happened. that we would have all been mired in misery had they not split.

now i'm not so sure. i feel damaged by it and everything that followed. what if they could have pushed through that? would things have gotten better? would our family still be intact now?
would i have still gone and married such an Unsuitable Man?

my sister and i saw this film last night. then we went and had a coffee in a place with booths on chapel street.

we talked about my dad and her eyes were red-rimmed. she asked me what i think will happen with him in the future, whether we will all become estranged from him. it's been like a slow-motion event, this growing apart? how can you maintain a relationship, a bonded meaningful relationship, with your father when you don't see him that often, and his wife is not your mother?

too many questions. i like movies that make me think.

the other one we were possibly going to see was a french one with with monica and gerard, which looked like a variation on indecent proposal. in the preview it had monica on gerard's lap, as his wife, as he caressed her breast and asked another man, what is she worth, for you to compensate me for my pain, etc etc, in losing her. this other man is rich and presumably he will pay gerard for his wife, who seems to be a prostitute? and without having seen the movie, i think they are in cahoots to do the man out of his $4mill. but you get to see her breasts side on, as she is lying on her back. they absolutely defy gravity.


elaine said...

About divorce...

I come from a family where my parents did work it out, things did get better and yet somehow all three of us came out damaged anyway.

We all get damaged at least a little, it's part of growing, and so it's perhaps sadder if we don't.

Isn't it better that princess grows up with two parents who love her independently, and a mother (at least, I can't comment about ali) in a functional, loving relationship so she can learn how those work, rather than a miserable, disfunctional relationship where she can't?

Tammiodo said...

I also come from a family where my parents worked things out, but it took them 2 1/2 years of separation to do so. 2 1/2 of my most angsty-teenage-finishing-high-school-impressionable-and-subsequently-miserable years.

During that time though, I got to know my dad much better, and subsequently have a much closer relationship to him.

Sometimes it can be made to work - my family is one of the lucky ones. Sometimes though, it would not be right for anyone to keep struggling through. Much better to make a break, and try to salvage what's left of your dignity, sanity, and your relationship with your children. That way, you're probably a better parent because you can focus on helping your child to learn about and share in your happiness, rather than just trying to hide your misery.

Kymmy said...

I'm a bit mixed about this subject, I used to think being the child of divorced parents who lived on opposite sides of the country was ace, because there is the whole double-presents and occasional holiday thing. Hey, when you're 8, that sort of stuff is paramount.

Now, however, I'm not so sure. Being privvy to mostly one side of the story when growing up can make you a bit warped, and now I'm all grown up I'm just not sure who to believe at all.

I do firmly believe, however, that if parents are responsible and careful, and well, adult - that the situation doesn't have to be necessarily a damaging one.

elaine said...

oh, that three was the three kids. So maybe I should have said all five of us.

As an adjunct to what kymmy sad, we three and my godsister wanted out parents to get divorced and swap partners - for the double presents.

BEVIS said...

I don't feel qualified to comment on the divorce thing, never having experienced it first-hand. (By this I mean I feel under-qualified; I'm not trying to be 'smarmy' in any way.)

But I'm eternally grateful that my family has never been in the situation, as it seems to produce all manner of angst, even if it's just angst over whether or not the situation has produced too much angst.

I would hate to go through divorce (as a partner or a child), and I wish there was something comforting I could say to those of you who have been through it or are going through it now.

I suppose not generalising or being self-righteous is a start, but I wish there was more I could say to show my aching heart for anyone in such circumstances.

Perhaps the best I can do is this:


BEVIS said...

BTW, why would you consider seeing the side of Ms Belucci's breasts a 'pro' to seeing the second movie?

"but you get to see her breasts side on ..."

What's going on there?

PS - I've replied to Princess' comment on my blog. (I hope that really was her and not just you teasing me!)

MelbourneGirl said...

hey all. yes heartache a plenty here at mg's blog. oh well. i guess life can be a rollercoaster any which way, with divorce or without. and i would always always choose complexity over simplicity. for therein can lie the boredom. i hate boredom. it's so... boring.

and bevis, it was princess over at yours. really. so i shall go there now and look.

and monica's breasts side on. i guess you mean what would really be a drawcard would be FRONT ON? my point was they were sticking right up into the air, like missiles, and it was quite phenomenal. just my rambling way of writing.

sublime-ation said...

Re divorce: I consider myself the expert in the subject, as both of my parents have been married four times. Yes, four. It wasn't the amount of divorces that could have damaged me. Luckily I had a great mum and incredible grandparents to raise me, so I was very very lucky. What could have damaged me really badly was having bad stepparents. I think that has hurt my self-esteem more than the actual divorces. Living with someone who treats you badly is the worst thing imaginable. Now my dad's married to wonderful woman and mum's on her own again, it's bliss.
ps please don't talk about Monica Belluci. I hate her because my boyfriend's obsessed with her. Her and her bloody gravity-defying tits.

BEVIS said...

Ha! No, that's not what I meant at all, believe it or not.

I was just curious as to why you seemed so keen to catch a glimpse of them, as if you had some kind of Earth-shattering, ground-breaking, out-of-the-closet-style news to share with us all.

But I see that it was just "professional intrigue". I get it now. No need to deny your feelings ...

MelbourneGirl said...

ah bevis, we are at cross purposes here. it was just a flippant comment about how you get to see her breasts, and perhaps some more, however the film itself seemed pretty crap. so no i am not a lesbian, "not that there's anything wrong with that" and no, there was nothing really in that comment at all.

ok, moving on. typing about belluci breasts has taken up enough of my life thus far.

although having said that, who does not like to look at breasts, male OR female. i can't deny they are things of beauty. the nice ones, that is.

BEVIS said...

:) B

That's a smiley-face just for you ... with lovely bosoms.

... which is better than this woman, who seems to only have had some work done on one side (or have hefted one out the top of her dress and left it like that).

:) %

MelbourneGirl said...

bevis, this woman has no link!!!

and at risk of further wasting my life on inanities, i wasn't completely clear when i said this:

"who does not like to look at breasts, male OR female."

what i meant was i think males and females like to look at breasts. i wasn't saying that i like to look at male breasts. because they don't have them. or if they do, i don't really want to look at them.

[throws spade out of hole and then looks up, wiping hands, wondering how to get out]