Monday, April 11, 2005

movie parents...

(edited to fix the link to Ann's blog. I also strongly considered editing to change the last answer here, fearing that it makes me look like a crazy person, but then again...)

I got this from Ann Douglas, at The Mother of All Blogs: fun with movies and parents. This was hard! But more fun than any number of other things I should have been doing this evening....

• meanest movie mom ever
I think this has to be Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford in Mommie, Dearest. Or of course the mother of all stepmothers, the wicked stepmother in the old Disney Snow White.

• meanest movie dad ever
I can't think of one, which is intriguing. Off-hand Jack Nicholson's character in The Shining is coming to mind, though he's more creepy than mean, and surely there are even more murderous ones here and there. Dads mostly aren't mean in movies, though, they are incompetent and lovable.

• best movie mom ever
Why am I sitting here not able to answer this one? Maybe because so many of the kids' movies I watch don't have moms? You know, that whole Disney thing: the only good mom is a dead one. Sigh. Ah, I know, how about Olympia Dukakis as Cher's mom in Moonstruck? ("Do you love him?" "No." "Good. When you love them they drive you crazy". And, later: "do you love him?" "Oh, yes, mom, I love him awful." "That's bad.") The grandmother in Whale Rider is a pretty good mom, too. And (see below) Susan Sarandon as Marmee in Little Women.

• best movie dad ever
Yes, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird is pretty good. The dad in Finding Nemo has his moments, though, don't you think?

• most nauseating movie mom ever
Debra Winger in Terms of Endearment, though she may also qualify as most nauseating daughter.

• most nauseating movie dad ever
Hmm, Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire, maybe? Ah, someone else thought so, too!

• the film character who most reminds you of yourself -- and why.
Lately I feel like a Bill Murray character, only not as funny. Like the guy in Lost in Translation, except without the affair, or the guy in Groundhog Day, except without Andi McDowell. A little purposeless, a little vague. I'd of course much rather identify with Lauren Bacall in almost anything. On good days, I identify with Jo in Little Women (especially the one played by Winona Ryder, since she gets to marry Gabriel Byrne!), or with the Emma Thompson character (Elinor) in her version of Sense & Sensibility: loyal, reflective, a little too inward. These are not reflecting well on me, are they? I also notice I'm not identifying with any mom-characters, though actually Susan Sarandon's version of Marmee is one I'd like to claim, again on better days: she's smart, funny, and productively angry, a little tougher than the doormat Marmee in the novel (I know, I know, the novel is ALWAYS better than the movie,,,but Susan Sarandon is a good Marmee).

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