I love sad movies. It’s an uncommon interest, but movies seem more real if they have an emotional toll on oneself. I can list all the sad movies I’ve ever watched and could easily connect it to one theme; childhood.
Here are two movies that I believe connect perfectly with sadness deriving from their childhood.
I saw Short Term 12 about two years ago and instantly fell in love with the plot and characters and story line. The main character of this movie, Grace, works at group facility for kids between the ages twelve and seventeen. She is a strong, hardworking, lovable girl. We soon find out that she is pregnant and quickly schedules an appointment to abort the child. She didn’t tell this boyfriend at the time and she had no other love interest outside her boyfriend, but it was obvious that Grace was struggling with her own, personal issues.
While the movie goes on we discover Grace had an abusive childhood. Her father would sexually abuse her, and her current pregnancy wasn’t her first. This fear traveled with her everyday and especially in her relationship. She wouldn’t have the baby, she wouldn’t get married, she wouldn’t fully give herself to him. At one point she even hit him out of reflex.
My second movie is a little more well known because of Robin Williams roll in the movie. Good Will Hunting revolves around a boy named Will who is exceptionally smart and has photographic memory but chooses to live his life with low paying jobs and going out and drinking. He gets into fights frequently and ends up in jail. A Professor at MIT offers to bail Will out if he becomes his apprentice and sees a therapist. Will agrees reluctantly.
Will has tremendous talent in solving math equations that most math experts find either extremely difficult or impossible. He has little care for helping these people and hates explaining himself to anyone, so seeing a therapist is necessary. This therapist, Sean, understood Will instantly. Realizing Will was smart but was protecting himself from everyone.
Sean realizes that Will was an orphan and grew up in a foster home. He also begins to understand why Will hung out with his particular group of friends; because they were loyal and would hurt anyone who would try to mess with Will. He also begins to understand that Will uses his readings to make assumptions about people, but Will has never been outside Boston and hasn’t experienced life outside the city.
You’re an orphan right? Do you think I’d know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally, I don’t give a s**t about all that, because you know what? I can’t learn anything from you I can’t read in some f****** book. Unless you wanna talk about you, who you are. And I’m fascinated. I’m in. But you don’t wanna do that, do you, sport? You’re terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
While Will has been going through therapy and working for the professor, he found a girl. There was a strong connection and they got along perfectly until she asked him to move to California with her. He went crazy. He yelled at her and threatened her. He left the room when she told him she loved him and blankly stated,”I don’t love you.”
He is filled with hatred and hurting and Sean is the only person to completely understand him. It takes until the end of the movie for Will to open up to Sean.
Both of these movies are perfect representations of traumatic childhood experiences altering a persons ability to connect with others.