Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cinema Therapy, volume 9

Okay, okay. I get it. It's been a while and if some of you have been wondering what happened to Cinema Therapy, don't be alarmed at the length of time it took me to post one. No, I haven't become one of those jags who doesn't believe in feel-good movies being quality viewing. No, I haven't become overly depressed with the world and want to shut out all that is happy and good. I simply have found myself overwhelmed with the schedule lately and Wednesdays come and go, with me remembering by Friday night, and by then thinking, "Oh, I'll do it next week." And then, it happens again. Oh well. I'll try to get better.

So, here it is, volume 9. And my pick for this week isn't just a feel-good drama. It's a great expression of family dysfunction that somehow shows how cohesive the group really is, and how they are better together than apart. Plus, Susan Sarandon makes me want to have all boys in this pic.

Say "hello" to Safe Passage. Even though this film was made in the 90's, it still resonates, especially given the international political circumstances this country finds itself. The story revolves around the Singer family, made up of Mom and Dad, Mag and Patrick, and their seven sons. Though Mag and Patrick are currently estranged, they come together with the rest of their family when one of the boys, Percival, is feared dead after a bomb has been detonated at a military barracks in the Sinai desert where he was stationed. How this film is brilliant is that it is filmed entirely from the perspective of the family awaiting news of Percy and through Mag's memories of her children. You feel that powerless sense of not knowing what has happened and the building anxiety and anticipation one experiences in situations such as these. So, how does this make it a feel-good movie? The family antics drive enough laughter through their fears, as well as a climactic ending that may be predictable, but still worthwhile.

Including an always brilliant Ms. Sarandon, there's also great performances by Sam Shepard, Nick Stahl, Robert Sean Leonard (of "House, M.D." fame), Marcia Gay Harden, and Sean Astin.

Despite the neuroses of most of the family members, I always find myself desiring my own place in the Singer household. It might even remind you of your own family, with it's sarcasm, wit, drama, and above all, love.

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