Movies to Parents: You Suck

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The_Way,_Way_Back_PosterI am just returned from The Way Way Back, which you can see for one more night at Trinity Cinestudio. It’s utterly likable, and it’s also the third consecutive recent release I’ve watched about kids getting a raw deal from their heedless parents. TWWB is about a boy, trapped in the miserable DMZ of 14 and shackled to his mother and her inappropriate, belittling, moral-shortcut-taking boyfriend. The film so nails the sense of claustrophobia of a young man trapped at a beach house with boozing, partying, nauseatingly merry grown-ups that it almost has to be based on somebody’s experience.

Last weekend in NYC I saw “Short Term 12,” set in a care facility for broken tweens and teenagers. It’s actually a move with heart and humor and moments of exhilaration, but it’s also unambiguous about who the villains are: a generation of uncaring and almost invisible parents.

In_a_World_posterAnd this week I saw “In a World,” which is mainly a comedy about voice-over artists but whose tension arises from a father so narcissistic (and so into his young new wife) that his daughters are nearly invisible to him — except when he’s actively thwarting their efforts.

Could be a coincidence, but it feels like a judgment by Gen X auteurs hitting their stride.


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2 thoughts on “Movies to Parents: You Suck

  1. Richard

    Must we get into the only families more dysfunctional than Irish Catholic families are non-Irish Catholic families and their open rejection of family first morals?

    My little street of twelve 21st Century homes has 4 divorces going on. What’s odd are that 3 of them are Desperate Housewives kind of inbreeding between the families. All have kids. None of them had the sense to do this stuff at work and settle their differences over a bottle of Whiskey like good Irish Catholic folk. . The police action is crazy this year. The police are hauling them in as soon as a neighbour calls about the screaming and pots and pans. Just crazy. On the outside its Wisteria Lane. Inside, its Reality TV for the kids.

    Seriously. Its “The Big Chill” all over again. The echo boomers, the Meg Tilly characters, are in charge of their kids Reality TV lives. Gatsby needed updating if only because the parallels between The Greatest Generation and their grandchildren, the Echo Boomers, is so sharp. The new tribalism where marriage is merely a roommate relationship with some property and tax division and the ceremony exists as an excuse for a party and nothing more. Not trust and loyalty or child rearing. Ancient values there.

  2. Privyboy

    Haven’t seen either movie, however it seems each generation rebels against the assumed hypocricies of their “teachers” and try to prove they are better. Generational respect must be earned and demanded as a birthright. To gain respect and if you don’t want your child swearing, drinking or be absorbed in lewd tendanies, than don’t be guilty of the same in their prescence and let them know you don’t tolerate it by others.
    If you provide respect and trust, they will come to respect themselves and others who are deserving of such while responsibly dealing with so called peer presure.
    In other words be a positive ambassador to the next generation as it passes into a more electronicaly complex world and maybe they won’t badmouth you in future movies and literiture.

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