Act One: Introduction
It has been said that we go to the movies to fall in love. We know that is true and we fall in love regularly with an enormous screen there in the dark. But we also go to the movies to get wisdom about how life works, to predict the future, to learn how to see what is over the next hill, and what is down the next road. For a lifetime, I have looked to the movies for lessons in reality. But none of these sources of the immortal myths and legends by which we structure our lives could compare in reality or in mythic moment with what was taking place as the pictures and stories and faces – never forget the faces – were transferred from the big screen to the even bigger screen in my head.
We have to look quite a way back to find films about families who are earnestly trying to get along, rather than trying to decide whether it will make them happy to remain in the family with their loved ones. Even if no one else does so, at least the therapists must believe that people have the power to make relationships work, to pull together in times of crisis, and to actually live together without driving one another crazy. The primary skill of therapists is optimism, the belief that we humans can change and do whatever needs to be done for our life and for the lives of our loved ones.