All I knew about the movie Mighty Fine was what I had read:
"The film, based on writer/director Debbie Goodstein's childhood experiences, touches upon the controversial and difficult roles that anger and aggression can play in a family. Mighty Fine tells the story of a 1970's family, who move from Brooklyn to New Orleans in search of a better, more prosperous life. The movie paints the picture of Joe Fine's (Chazz Palminteri) love for his wife (Andie MacDowell) and daughters (Jodelle Ferland and Rainey Qualley), juxtaposed against his explosive, rage-filled side, which he often takes out on those closest to him. The emotional abuse leaves Stella, Maddie, and Natalie conflicted between their love for this charismatic, generous man, and their vulnerability in the face of his unpredictable mood swings."
What I did not know, was how this film would trigger a flood of memories from my own childhood coupled with a wide range of emotions. I found myself identifying with each character.
I've been the child who loves her parent in spite of the hurt they caused. I've been the child who was on the receiving end of an unharnessed rage. I've been scared and I've felt protective of other family members. I've been the spouse trying to function normally in a far from normal environment and I"ve also been the woman who decides enough is enough.
As the story played out, it was hard watch but impossible to look away. I was mentally begging and pleading for Mrs. Fine to protect her daughters from their father, but she couldn't even stand up for herself. All three of the women are victims of Mr. Fine's unpredictable fits of rage, fueled by job loss, money problems and his unstable mental health. I think most of us can understand how the stress of providing for a family can strain relationships and cause tempers to flare more often than not. The difference is the way in which we act, or how we treat others.
I highly recommend Mighty Fine to anyone wanting to understand, appreciate or support the family unit. Maybe, like me, you will recognize yourself or a loved one in this film. Maybe after watching Mighty Fine you will be more grateful for your own family. Either way, this movie teaches many different lessons and learning and educating ourselves is never a bad thing.
Check out Mighty Fine in select theaters May 25.
*I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mighty Fine and the distributor. I received access to an online showing of the film and a promotional item to thank me for participating.