Would they grieve our mistakes? Might our struggles, dreams, our failures and successes, somehow help heal some of the disappointments in their own lives? Would they or Could they learn from our mistakes? Some of my friends and family relate to their life stories as portrayed in films such as Parenthood, Terms of Endearment, In Her Shoes, The Notebook or Message in a Bottle. As I consider the deep love, commitment, faithfulness, romance, infidelity, life decisions, and healing of relationships that are depicted in these movies, I cry but then when my family and some friends want to laugh at family life we watch a movie called Parenthood and once again the movie takes us back to those, messy, zany, experiences that we had as younger mothers and parenthood doesn’t seem so serious for a while.
Much of the film is based on the family and parenting experiences of the screenwriters and producer Brian Granz, who have 14 children among the four of them. There’s one cinematic scene that is my favorite. It takes place between Steve Martin‘s character as Gil Buckman and Mary Steenburgen‘s character as Karen Buckman. They are married to each other in the movies and have three children. He’s a neurotic sales executive, trying to balance family life in suburban St. Louis and his career.
When he finds out that his son has emotional problems and the school psychologist tells them that their son needs therapy. Gil begins to blame himself, and deeply questions his abilities as a father. In addition, he’s dealing with his wife telling she is pregnant with their fourth child, he is unsure if he can handle the wonderful news.
While Gil and Karen are talking about the issues of having a fourth child. Gil’s Grandma comes into the room. She tells them a story about when she was nineteen, and went on a roller coaster ride with Gil’s grandpa. His Grandma describes how much she liked the roller coaster ride.
She tells them, how much fun it was to ride on the roller coaster. It wasn’t boring, like ridding on the Merry Go Round. The Roller Coaster, went up and down and up and down, and all around. The Merry Go Round just went around. Then Gil’s wife said, Your grandmother’s a smart woman. His replied. If she’s so smart why is she sitting in the neighbors car?
I agree with Gil’s grandmother I preferred the Roller Coaster Ride called parenthood, family and grandparent-hood. How about you do you prefer the Merry Go Round or The Roller Coaster Ride or both?