Thursday, September 19, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks #271: Break-Ups

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of Thursday Movie Picks, the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week's theme is Break-Ups. It's going to be a little harder for me than I would otherwise have thought, if only because I used a couple of movies about marriages breaking up -- if only inadvertently -- in the Thursday Movie Picks on romantic comedies back in February. But in the end, I was able to find three movies that fit the theme:

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979). Meryl Streep walks out on Dustin Hoffman, leaving him to take care of their son alone. After a while, Streep returns, thinking she deserves custody of the child just because she's a woman, even though Hoffman hasn't been doing that bad a job of parenting.

The Marrying Kind (1952). Judy Holliday and Aldo Ray play a couple who show up at divorce court at each other's throats. The judge (Madge Kennedy), rather than going through the actual trial, decides to find out why they're getting a divorce. Cut to a flashback which shows the couple meeting, marrying, struggling to get ahead in life, and then losing their young child in a tragic accident. Ray and Holliday are both excellent here.

All Mine to Give (1957). Instead of a marriage breaking up, I decided to have the final film being about a family breaking up. Cameron Mitchell and Glynis Johns play a couple of Scottish immigrants in mid-19th century Wisconsin. They raise a family, but then Mom dies, followed some time later by Dad. The eldest kid can't take over parenting duties all by himself, so he has to find homes for his younger siblings. On Christmas Eve. Yeah it's a tear-jerker.


joel65913 said...

Three excellent choices.

My big problem with Kramer vs. Kramer is exactly the one you pinpointed. Joanna walks out on her kid because she feels smothered and vanishes than swans back in and wants him back regardless of all the damage she's inflicted and the hurt it will cause. No matter how well its acted, and it is, I still say Screw Her!

I love The Marrying Kind. Such an undiscovered gem. It really makes its characters run the gamut of emotions and both are up to the challenge. Judy Holliday felt it was her best onscreen work. She was always wonderful but I'd agree with her.

Love the way you went with your final choice. All Mine to Give is heavy, heavy going but still very watchable. I think the sequence of passings of the parents is reversed to what you have but its brutal either way. LOVE Glynis Johns!!

Lots of choices for this one. I flirted with the idea of having all three of mine be from the woman's perspective post breakup which is the case with the first two but my third was just too on point to pass up.

An Unmarried Woman (1978)-Erica Benton (Jill Clayburgh) feels secure in her longtime marriage to husband Martin (Michael Murphy) and their comfortable life with their daughter in New York City. Then one day walking down the street Martin tells her that he’s leaving her for someone else. Blindsided we follow Erica as she grapples with the break-up, reassesses her opinion of herself and finds an identity that isn’t tied to being an extension of someone else’s self-worth. Jill Clayburgh was Oscar nominated for her work.

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)-After successful literary reviewer Frances Mayes (a luminous Diane Lane) is told her husband is cheating on her by a vengeful author she slides into a deep depression. In an effort to help her out of it her best friend, Patti (Sandra Oh), encourages Frances to take a tour of Italy. During the trip, Frances impulsively buys a rural, somewhat decrepit Tuscan villa and struggles to find her balance again. Surrounded by eccentric characters and the beauty of Tuscany (the cinematography is gorgeous) she discovers a new life and family.

The Break-Up (2006)-Art dealer Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) and tour bus driver Gary (Vince Vaughn) meet cute and despite being opposites soon find themselves deeply involved and sharing an apartment. When their myriad differences finally drive a wedge between them and they break-up neither wants to vacate their home. As each attempts to get the other out their bitterness towards the other grows. Not a great movie but it does have the courage of its convictions and doesn’t cheat the audience with an unrealistic ending.

Brittani Burnham said...

The only one of yours I've seen this week is Kramer vs Kramer. It works so well here. I enjoyed that one.