Five Movies About Troublemaking Parents

While watching the movies this week and placing them into a relevant category, the realisation came that the topic of needy and uncompromising parents is more or less present in many movies which nominally are addressing other themes. Some parents should actually pass a parenthood exam before they are allowed to raise kids. Nevertheless here are five movies for this week, from various genres, but also about parents who wanted their children to be just like the children they would have approved. After all, who should know better what is the best for the children than their parents. Sit back and let us take you on a tour of trouble making parents.

Terms of Endearment

Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger in a story about a complicated relationship between a mother and her daughter. Aurora is a very needy mother to her daughter Emma. Aurora has difficulty accepting Emma’s new husband, and Emma’s pregnancy, and basically she would just like Emma to order her life the usual, and better, way. Emma is a strong individual personality, who turns out, surprisingly given the childhood she came through, to be a winner, despite all the difficulties life has brought her. She loves her mother and wants her to approve of her life and her decisions. Along comes a former astronaut, Jack Nicholson, who brings a little bit of excitment into Aurora’s obsessive life. The movie won five Oscars.

Mine Vaganti

Imagine a typical South Italian family, with two grown sons, just gathering for a family reunion. The family has owned a pasta manufacturing business for several decades now, and the head of the family would like to involve one of the sons in the business. Surprisingly, none of them seems to be very keen on it, since both have been living in the city, away from the family. And then comes a change. One of the brothers informs the family he is gay. The father collapses at the table and ends up in a hospital with a heart attack, but that is nothing compared to what is coming next. How could the other son possibly come out of the closet now, after such a dramatic reaction. And so there comes a series of touching and funny to ridiculous situations, just the Italian way.

Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait au Bon Dieu? (Serial (Bad) Weddings)

And now parenting the French way. Claude and Marie Verneuil are good Catholics, with four grown daughters. They always believed their values were the only right ones, and so they tried to inculcated them while bringing up their children. Then how could it be, that one daughter married a Jewish husband, the second one a Muslim, and the third one a Chinese man – no question about them being church goers. Not to have it that easy, these three cannot stand each other and don’t miss an opportunity to pick on each other. So you can imagine the atmosphere over the family gathering.Thankfully there is a fourth daughter and so when she informs them about her plan to get married, their very first question is: “Is he a Catholic?” But that is just the beginning.

A River Runs Through It

Reverend Maclean is the father of two boys. He and his strict parenting are terrorising the entire family, no need mentioning the impact it has left on the now grown men. The movie has good camera work and slow scenes, typical for Robert Redford’s movies, starring Brad Pitt and Craig Sheffer as two brothers. The story only marginally touches the family issues, leaving that to the viewer’s judgment. Instead the camera is allowed to run, filming the extraordinary scenery of Montana and the only point of connectin for the three men – the love of fishing. There eventually will come the time when the old man will have to accept the terms of his life.

Billy Elliot

Billy has a talent he doesn’t know about yet and a very macho father. In an attempt to toughen the son up a bit, the father signs him up for boxing classes. But what can you do with boxing gloves, when your heart is set somewhere else? As soon as Billy spots little ballerinas and their elegant movements, he realises he is in trouble. It is difficult for a father like Billy’s not only to understand but to accept the inclinations of his son – his own blood afterall. Well, parents…

Photo: IMDB

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