Spoiled Children of Divorce

The Boys Are Back
October 23, 2009, 8:25 am
Filed under: Abandonment, Alcoholism, Birth Order, Movies About Growing Up in Divorce

The Boys are Back is an Australian movie about a man whose second wife dies leaving him with his 6-year old son to raise alone while in the middle of grieving.  The entire vibe of the household changes as the single Father sets up house the way he thinks is fitting.  And then into this commotion his English first wife sends their son over to visit.  The Father hasn’t seen this son in 8 years (I might have the years wrong).

The marquee outside the movie theater said this is based on a real story which is believable because, although in the end all problems seem to have been solved (which is unlikely because no Father who is that good looking is going to be single for such a long time) the relationships and the way the emotions come out really does seem genuine.  The feelings of the children is explored.  This isn’t just another film about an American parent who has to think of some way to make his child useful to his life.  The older son from the divorced older family is clearly left out of the picture, feels like the oddball out for a very long time in the story and the Father confronts these feelings.  He confronts his absentee Fathering.  There’s no denial.  The Father takes an active role as a parent rather than letting the relationship slide.  So I guess it really is make-believe because that just doesn’t happen in real life.

Although death and divorce are talked about in one breath together in real life they are really so much different, especially for the kids.  Death brings finality. The grief involved has to do with coming to terms with complete loss.  Divorce brings complete loss of secure family (which can’t be discussed), feelings of failure, guilt, trying to fix things, false hopes, maybe relief (although the only people I’ve ever heard say this were shrinks), and just general dis-ease and awkwardness that one has to get used to.

Anyway, this is probably the only movie that I remember being able to relate to on an emotional level.  Maybe that’s because I’ve experienced both Divorce and Death of parents.  At any rate, it will make you laugh.  It will make you cry.  And it will make you wish you could live in the Grandmother’s house which is so cool.

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