Tuesday Couch Potatoes: Love of Family

Movies with family themes are something I really prefer watching. Usually because these are clean and wholesome, and most of the time there's little tips or lessons we can pick up. So for this week's theme I had a difficult time choosing just one. So I'll go right ahead and write about all my favorites. And, no, this is not the complete list, I'm just going through what I can recall off the top of my head. Putting together and writing all of my favorites will just be pure torture for everyone all around, lol.
For some reason, I liked Bee Season. It's a rather dark tale of a rather more-than-usual dysfunctional family. The discovery of a daughter's special gift threatened to create a rift in the usual dynamics of the family and threatened to blow their well-established personal failures sky-high. So the daughter chose to sacrifice her ambition and giftedness to maintain the family's status quo. I see in this family the daughter's worthy sacrifice to keep her family intact. But at what cost to her, and is the family, as they were, worth it? Hard question to answer.
 Fiddler on the Roof -  yes, another musical. I loved how the Jewish family operated and functioned, especially their observance of their traditions, the value they put on parental blessing, love for God and each other (although "Do You Love Me?" was at once both poignant and humorous, the underlying truth of love in action was so palpable and real). What parent doesn't get misty-eyed over "Sunrise, Sunset"? And most of all, the parents' love for their children despite the life choices they made, and the childrens' equally strong love for their parents -- again, despite the choices they made. And as a mother on a tight budget, I totally get "If I Were a Rich Man."
 The Secret of Moonacre - totally a movie for the entire family. Although there were times the characters got confusing (as the same actors played various characters across different generations), the loveliness of this movie and the lesson to be gleaned make it a very good one. I especially like the point it makes about pride separating families and putting a curse across generations.
Lilo & Stitch, Marley & Me, and Stuart Little - These films make a case for families made up of different species. Okay, realistically we could only experience racial diversity in families, although dog lovers would definitely fight to the death for their beloved pets' inclusion into the family. Lilo adopted Stitch (an alien), Marley was a dog that was undoubtedly a part of the family, and Stuart was a mouse adopted by the Little family. I love Lilo's quote: "Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten." I have a do(g)ter of my own, so yes, we are a mixed-specie ohana.
But my hands-down favorite is "The Pursuit of Happyness." Now I know this should have been under love of children. Since the parents are divorced, this is a broken family -- and yet it's a family, just the same, and the father and son's love for each other makes this a strong one. In the story, the wife leaves her husband to find herself and make something of herself elsewhere. She couldn't live with their poverty and the limitations afforded by having a husband and child to care for. (Much like the theme in Kramer vs. Kramer also.) So she ups and leaves. The husband had to care for the child while at the same time trying to earn a living. They went through a LOT of hardships -- he lost his job, credit cards, their house -- unbelievable and tear-jerking. He applied (partly by figuring out how to solve the Rubik's cube) and got hired for a stockbroking job which meant 6 months of training without pay. How was he going to do that full time, sell scanning machines to make a living, raise a child, and keep body and soul together? Somewhere along the way you wonder how he could have put up with it and not give up. But put up he did.
The fact that Will Smith starred, and his son Jaden played the part of the son in the film, made this movie more special. The real-life bond between father and son showed (those knock-knock jokes were not scripted), and made portraying their roles just that much more convincing.
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