Spoiled Children of Divorce

Two New Movies: “Twilight” and “Rachel Getting Married”

I haven’t been going to many movies lately but this week-end I’ve gone to two.  Both were about Children of Divorce.

First was Twilight.  It’s a teeny bopper Vampire movie.  The heroine, Bella, a high school Junior, moves to the Pacific Northwest to live with her Father who she hasn’t really spent much time with.  Her Mother has just remarried a baseball player who travels around the country a lot so she can’t keep Bella around.   Relations with Dad are awkward and there are a lot of telephone calls with Mom.  Nobody, absolutely nobody, is angry.

However, the Pacific Northwest being what it is, everyone is pretty much depressed and pale, very pale.  What a great situation for meeting and falling in love with a Vampire in Chemistry class.  Vampires like the sunless landscape because they can hang around during the day.  Anyhoo, all kinds of trauma erupts out of from this awkward, romantic, very steamy and innocent relationship.  The Vampire is sort of a Vegetarian vampire who doesn’t kill people but he sure does lust after their blood.  Bella throws herself right after him because she has some sort of compulsive need to prove that she can trust a guy with such intense instincts to hurt her.  Is that Child of D stuff, or what?  At any rate, I guess Vampire psychology involves all things that can wrong with … Blood Ties, ah hem…

I didn’t know what I was going to see and I liked the movie okay.  The kids who read the books seem to universally think the movie is awful.

Out of curiosity I tried to see if the writer, Stephenie Meyer is a child of D.  Apparently not; she just really worshipped the Brady Bunch as a kid.  That’s so annoying.

The other movie I saw is called “Rachel Getting Married.”  It’s a psychological drama about being psycho in a family setting.  Kym is the psycho, very well performed by Anne Hathaway.  She is an addict who is getting out of rehab to attend her Sister’s Wedding. The tensions of adjusting to real life in such an intense week-end sort of brings out her whole story.  At 16 Kym committed an unpardonable sin while high and has to confront all of her family members over this for the first time sober.  All the while preparing for the festivities.  By the time she puts on the Brides Maid’s dress she is covered with scratches and has a Black Eye.

The relationship with the parents is well portrayed from a Child of D point of View.  The Father is the dominant care taker. He’s loving and caring and completely forgiving.  The Mother is the negative character who is left out and can’t deal with her sub-par role in the whole hierarchy.  The Step Mother is totally cool and never complains about a thing.  She also doesn’t leave the Father alone for a minute with the kids. I wouldn’t be surprised if these filmmakers really do come from Divorce. One of them certainly must be a step-parent.

Both movies portray positive images of Step Parents.  That’s good for the Step-Parents.  It might be good for the kids as well as they might get a piece of their inheritance down the road if they maintain a low profile in the family.

As a matter of fact I’m seeing nothing but positive images of Step-parents in the media.  The new Coke commercial has a joyous jingle for the Season about the joys of Coca-Cola and Step-Families.  Since all kinds of new scientific evidence is coming out about the toxicity of carbonated beverages I guess this makes sense.  Plus, we all know who is in charge of Daddy’s money — Step-Mothers are a great target for the marketers.  (Reminder:  I’m not talking about all step-parents here, only the ones to whom it applies.  Unfortunately, these people don’t know, or care, who they are).

I’m beginning to notice the way that Step-Mothers are very critical of Biological mothers.  This happens in the movies and it happens more in real life.  (Miaow, the cat fight never ends.)  It certainly happened in my family.  Women are still treating each other like poo.  Liberation has a ways to go.

Neither movie showed Step-Sibling relations.  The relationship between Rachel and Kym in “Rachel Getting Married” is very strong.  Sibling relationships that go through this extra stress, of course, are going to be different from those in Intact families.  Either the bonds are stronger or they are considered as ridiculous and expendable as the parents’ marriage.  I don’t know if studies have been done.  Probably not.

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