Spoiled Children of Divorce

Napolean Dynamite and Thirteen
September 9, 2008, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Movies About Growing Up in Divorce, Uncategorized

Remembered two more Movies to link to that are about Children of D. As usual it’s difficult to tell whether or not the Writer/Directors are Children of D themselves just by reading their biographies. It seems that they find the extra added stress of entering teenage years while having the extra burden of dysfunctional parents is great for story telling.  There is no mention of balancing complex relationships between two distinct sets of parents or of living in double families so I tend to think that there is no personal experience expressed here.  That part of the Child of D experience seems to be really challenging for story telling.  The Boy Character represented is the typical Nerdy Child of D.  The Girl Character is rebellious and out of control.

Napolean Dynamite, a really funny comedy, was written by a Husband/Wife team. The lead character, Napolean, is a Nerd who lives in a fantasy world. His much older brother is unemployed and searches for Babes on the Internet. There are no parents and no mention of parents. The two brothers live with their Grandmother and the story starts when she leaves to visit a friend.

Thirteen about a girl going through adolescent rage when she finds drugs and sex with a friend, also a Child of D. The girl lives with her Mother, a recovering alcoholic/addict/can’t remember which who is in and out of relationships. The Father shows up occassionally and doesn’t really have much interaction with his kids. The movie was written in 6 days by writer/director Catherine Hardwicke who worked with her ex-boyfriend’s daughter on the project. The daughter stars in the movie as the trouble making friend.  Then we could watch real life.  Hardwicke talks about it here: http://www.tribute.ca/people/Catherine+Hardwicke/11108

She became inspired to write a screenplay after dating a man with a young daughter. Although she stopped seeing the man, she continued to hang out with his daughter, Nikki Reed. When the girl turned 13, Hardwicke saw her go through a dramatic change, becoming angry, secretive and uncommunicative. When Reed showed a passion for acting and film, Hardwick decided to bring Reed in on one of her dreams â?? to write and direct a film. In six days, the two wrote the first draft of a screenplay based on Reedâ??s true life experiences. Determined to get the screenplay produced while Reed was still young enough to play a part in the film, Hardwicke brought the project to the attention of two producers, who were drawn to the story. Thirteen (2003) was filmed when Reed was just 14, playing not the character based on herself but the secondary lead, with experienced 14-year-old actress Even Rachel Wood in the lead role.

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