Force Majeure,perfect family,problems in marriage,movie

This is a delightful, darkly comic Swedish movie about a family on a ski holiday in France where the father, when he finds himself in a crisis does not do what is expected of a man.

These are two ordinary people who have no idea how to talk to each other about hard things.

It’s a terrific movie for demonstrating how both people contribute to the problems in a marriage.Then he makes things worse by denying what happened. She makes things worse by shaming him in front of others instead of being honest with her anger directly. It really does take two people to destroy a relationship.

When people ask me how to stay married longer, I always respond with “Be sure to be able to have honest conversations about hard things.” This is all too rare a commodity in most marriages.

The couple in the movie makes a show of going into the hallway of the hotel to talk & then they avoid real dialogue. This is what people do. She wants him to figure it out & he wants her to forget about it.

The perfect family has no infrastructure of authenticity, until it erupts when the husband has been shamed enough to see the ugly truth. Authenticity requires messiness, not neat appearances (as emphasized in the lovely family photos that are taken early on).

It is very amusing when another couple tries to help & ends up wrestling with the same problems, as if it were a “hypothetical” situation for them which serves to emphasize, that we are vulnerable as families. (Just in case we in the audience, are congratulating ourselves that could never be us.)

Real love means wanting to do the work of being a better person because we love someone else. If they were a healthier couple instead of a perfect family, I would hope that she could have accomplished having him recognize the truth without dragging in others to do the work for her.

The film makes you squirm a bit in your seat instead of offering typical Hollywood trite stories, it asks you to think & look at what’s missing in the “perfect” family. The movie got 93% from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes. It was a surprise that it was not nominated for an Oscar.




About the Rhoda Mills Sommer

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