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the movie:when a man loves a woman
August 2, 2004
9:42 pm
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brendalee
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I'm new here. First time posting. Has anyone ever seen this movie with Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia? I have my own copy and learn something new about myself each time I watch it. (Believe Showtime is currently airing it this month.) Anyway, I had always associated Co-D with drinking but am now learning that that doesn't always have to be the case! To me, it's more about the conditioning learned as a child growing up and having to surpress your feelings. Don't rock the boat etc. There are soooo many issues that come into play for me such as lack of boundaries etc... not really sure where I am going with this - there are so many "categories" ie depression, depersonalization, disassociation etc... that I have been "diagnosed" with, but really - isn't if mostly just about getting really "REAL" with yourself and discovering that you have the right to feel your feelings? Especially (for me) anger. I'm 44 years old and have just discovered that it's OK to be "angry" with the close people in my life!!! (I am very assertive with strangers.) I remember saying to myself......so THIS is what it's like to stand up for myself to those close to me! WOW!!! Although it is momentarily uncomfortable to step out of my "comfort zone" - (for just a matter of seconds - really - ) boy, is IT ever worth it. Anyway - getting back to the movie - this movie has been better for me each time I watch it than all the bucks I've spent on therapy. Can I get a witness???? I especially like the part where Andy Garcia's character finally admits that he doesn't have all the answers!!!! This is a great film!

August 2, 2004
9:45 pm
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chloeysmomma
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i own it but dont understand tell me what its about

August 2, 2004
10:09 pm
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brendalee
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Watch it again and see what you think. The first time I watched it -I was so out of touch with myself that it was pure intuition that told me that there was something here of value for me. Really vague. But each time I re-watched it - I really identified more and more with Meg Ryan's character....and continue to do so.
It's really a story about a co-dependent couple where the wife (Meg Ryan) drinks too much and the husband is always there to "pick up the pieces" and that dynamic had served them well until she gets really blasted and passes out and falls thru the glass shower - her oldest daughter thinks that she died and she ends up in the hospital. From there - she goes to a re-hab ctr where she gets herself clean and her relationship with her husband starts to change. We as the viewer get to see the turmoil of changes that take place as she goes through getting herself better and stronger. To me - this movie really epitomizes the dynamics of a Co-D relationship and all of the crap that goes along with it. I still learn from it each time I see it and can recognize myself in Meg Ryan's character and my own divorce which was over 9 years ago.

August 2, 2004
10:59 pm
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annastar
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Did not see the movie, but from your description I have a feeling that I had same pattern with my husband before we divorced.

So- talking about conditioning and your words:

“conditioning learned as a child growing up and having to surpress your feelings. Don't rock the boat etc.”

Who, do you think was conditioned to suppress feelings- drinking wife or supportive husband? Or both?

August 2, 2004
11:59 pm
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brendalee
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annastar,
I just posted a real intense lengthy response...and then somehow lost it. So here goes again (rather abbreviated.) The wife was taught, we learn through the movie to surpress her feelings through the bits and pieces that surface from the dialog. The crux of it all is when she starts to get better and she finally - well, starts to stand up for herself. This shakes up the whole status quo of the relationship between she and her husband who has always been "the rock" "the provider" and forces him to face his own limitations...which is not easy. He, in the process has to realize that he does not have all the answers. And that it's OK - when you don't know....."ya just don't know." (This is a pivotal point in the movie!) The equal juxtaposition of strength and humility is simply outstanding in this movie and I can not comment on it highly enough!!! I gleam something new from it each and every time I see it. This importance of this movie first came to me through intution only because I was so out of touch with myself to begin with...I just knew that it was important and that I could learn something from it - which indeed I have......and continue to do so. It is my hope that others in this forum will get something out of it as well. I have studied many films and this ranks amongst the highest of a well sought through subject matter. Written in part by Al Franken.

August 3, 2004
12:04 am
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BabyJane
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One of my favorite movies. Well done. I never even picked the co-D.

August 3, 2004
11:37 am
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workinonit
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I think the toughest part about this process is the final admitting of my shortcomings..well..maybe I mean my part in the interaction I was more than willing to blame on some one else. My actions were manipulative, controlling, fearful, etc etc. And yet, I gave my partners the same labels. That whole mirror thing.

I haven't seen this movie but will look for it now. Thanks for the tip and keep on workinonit!!

August 3, 2004
12:17 pm
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fairy99
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I own the movie as well. I loved it. To me it was a bout addiction and co-dependancy. Her addiction to alcohol, his wantind to always control everything and make it all better. I loved the way it ended. Good one.

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