Licensed Mental Health Counselor with Paradigm Hawaii Counseling in Kailua
Where and with whom did you see the movie?
Kahala Theater with my husband, Nathaniel Thompson.
Overall, what did you think?
I really enjoyed the movie, and felt that it was a very accurate and beautifully raw picture of a marriage that had very slowly and incrementally begun to self-destruct over 30 years of emotional disconnection fueled by fear, anger and boredom. The film does a great job of taking the viewer inside the minds and hearts of both spouses to reveal the emotions that they both experience in their own very individual ways throughout this awkward and uncomfortable journey. It’s a beautiful, encouraging, hopeful and wonderfully authentic film.
Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes?
One of my favorite scenes was when Nick (Jim Broadbent) was talking to the teenage son of Morgan (played by Jeff Goldblum). Nick and the teenage boy are drinking and smoking away the pain of life, while Nick is venting about his perceived failings. He starts talking about his wife, Meg (Lindsay Duncan), while she is eavesdropping on them, unbeknownst to him. Nick says that his one flaw is that he has loved one woman, only one, and that he didn’t want to sleep with any other women, only her. He says that love is so much harder than sex, and that love is really the only worthwhile thing in life. Meg is about to tell him that she plans to go out to drink with a man from the party who has hit on her, but hearing Nick say these things changes her mind and reminds her of the love they have. Beautiful scene!
On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film?
Was the message/theme clear?
Mostly, but the open-endedness of the film is why it was so good. You never know if the hope is lasting or not. It is one of those films that keeps you thinking long after it’s over. I came away with a theme which is more than likely very influenced by my own understanding of humans/relationships/marriage: Human beings are made for emotional connection. We crave it and only function as we were made to function when we have it. Emotional connection is hard and doesn’t have an instruction manual. When people in our lives get close enough to touch raw spots, it’s very hard to respond in a way that invites more closeness and connection instead of more distancing/withdrawal, pain, and/or division. Each spouse has to feel emotionally safe enough with the other in order to be honest and vulnerable, and invite connection. Romantic love isn’t enough to sustain a marriage. Vulnerability and safety in a relationship are essential, but it takes constant work, but work that yields beautiful and long-lasting fruit for marriage and hope for the future.
Did any of the actors stand out?
Jeff Goldblum was amazing in this film. I have no idea how he played his character without cracking up every five minutes. So annoyingly great and hilarious!
Did you identify with any of the characters?
I definitely felt that I could relate to both main characters and their struggles. I think that most people would be able to if they have been in any kind of long-term relationship or marriage. But their story is still very specifically theirs, that’s what I loved about it.
On a different note, what’s new with you?
I have been enjoying the summer weather lately out on the beach and along the hiking trails with my two beautiful children and husband. When I’m not enjoying the amazing privilege of living in Hawaii with my family, I am working for Paradigm Hawaii Counseling in Kailua. I really enjoy working with married couples, people struggling through various life transitions, depression, anxiety, grief, trauma and domestic abuse. For more information regarding our philosophy, education, location, phone number, other therapists at Paradigm, etc. please visit our website, paradigmhawaiicounseling.com.