There was enough in the reviews and Facebook comments that piqued my interest and knowing that Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts were also in it made it intriguing. There is something about these types of movies that seem to lure me in with all of the dysfunction and imperfections that each character portrays.
Interestingly enough, these movies don't seem to trigger me (for those who aren't familiar with my story I have ptsd and panic/anxiety). I find myself captivated by each character and their behavior. Hoping against all hope, that the end of the movie will find each scenario neatly wrapped up and with a happily ever after ending. Sometimes, these movies do end with the outcome I hoped for and sometimes, they don't.
Why do I find myself drawn towards these types of movies? Is it the family secrets that no one talks about, but yet, they have the capability to shatter or damage relationships? Is it the selfish or greedy motives of some of the family members that's all to familiar to me? Is it the addictions that wreak havoc on not only the addict, but the entire family? Or is it the family member who tries again and again to fix or rescue the entire family dysfunction to only watch it continue on? Is it the way they blame each other for someone else's choices? Is it the way they all willingly put things under the rug in hopes that, by not talking about it, it will go away or resolve itself? Or is it that I find a peculiar, yet comforting relatability that seems to invite me in with an underlining knowing?
I believe it's all of the above...I saw both sides of my family in the characters and motives. I hoped against all hope that the end would indeed end, with everyone happy and reconciled. Spoiler alert: the movie does not end this way. In fact it ends the way I feel about my own journey, unresolved, yet still hopeful.
There are parts of my life and certain family member relationships that are resolved and full of hope and like many of you, there are also parts of my life and family relationships, that have required me to place boundaries in order to protect myself (emotionally) and my ability to move forward. There is hope in confronting truth and in trying to understand why people do what they do, but at the same time, that does not justify abuse, addiction, greed, lies, or unfavorable behavior or choices that impact others in a damaging way.
If I were to have the opportunity to talk to Barb, Karen, or Ivy (the three sisters in the movie), I would encourage them that they have the choice to stop the cycle. There IS hope and they don't have to settle. They can place boundaries. They can choose to stop sweeping things under the rug and taking responsibility for other people's choices. They can choose to courageously get to the root of their own issues and do things differently. I would emphasize to them they haven't a crossed line of no return. I would remind them God is real and He is waiting to shower them with grace, mercy, and forgiveness. And more than anything else, I would tell them to take life one day at a time, one moment at a time, and to know there is always always HOPE!
“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.” Romans 3:22
(*Disclaimer: I am not promoting the movie nor the actors in the movie. I encourage you to read reviews and talk to others before you see this movie, as it has potential to trigger some people with the theme , content, and language)