Sunday, August 28, 2011

Too Young to Die? - Tragic Movie about a Teen Journey

I love Netflix. After a busy day of writing, my idea of kicking back and relaxing is not more writing. What I enjoy most is a good story. Translation: Netflix. Usually streaming Netflix. For about $10 a month I can watch movies I want to see on the big screen any evening I want. What a country.

Tonight, I wanted to watch "The Forgotten" (2004) a psychological thriller starring Julianne Moore, one of my favorite actresses.

No way. I got 15 seconds into the movie and it caused my widescreen HD Sony to reboot. I tried four more times and the exact same thing happened. Pretty frustrating, not to mention disappointing.

Rather than get wrapped around the axle and give up, I assumed that there was something weird about that particular movie, and I searched for another one. What I found was "Too Young to Die?" (1990), starring Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis. I like Brad Pitt and I like realistic stories, so I gave it a shot.

This movie worked just fine. It played from beginning to end with no interruption. It was about an unfortunate fourteen-year-old girl who was abused and abandoned and who got caught up with an evil man who guided her to drugs, strip clubs and prostitution. And her story goes downhill from there. Yes, pretty sordid stuff. But it was based on a true story, and if you've been following my blog, you know my passionate interest right now is the teen experience.

But it was a heart-wrenching story. The fact that the part of her brain that thinks rationally was "under construction" was clearly evident. She reacted emotionally to everything that was happening to her - not unlike a typical teenager would, and she made all the wrong decisions. The result was tragic.

In fact, the Juliette Lewis character was one of the "at-risk" kids we talk so much about, the ones so many agencies try so hard to help. Lately I've been busy writing a book for kids that simulates a series of "wise uncle" or "wise aunt" conversations. These adult-to-teen talks almost never happen in real life, but when they do, they have the potential to have a profound impact.

As I watched the movie, the young girl had no one in her life who could coach her that way, in fact no one to give her a "wise aunt" book. Here's one of the questions I'm pondering these days. I know what I'm doing may help kids who have good parents and other positive influences, and all they need are some key insights. But can it help at-risk kids, who are psychologically traumatized and have broken lives?

All the experts I've talked to say yes. I believe every teen girl, regardless of whether she is "at-risk," should read this book...

Conversations with the Wise Aunt

For boys - Conversations with the Wise Uncle

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength .


Study Online Masters Degrees said...

Too Young to Die? is indeed a worth to watch. The director Robert Markowitz has made the right decision on casting Juliette Lewis, she really proved to be a great actress.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

You have great taste. I like Julianne Moore a lot, too.

I have never heard of that Brad Pitt/Juliette Lewis movie. I'll have to see if I can get a hold of it.

Love to you and Kathleen,


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this post. It's struck a cord and tugs as my heart. I've been- I am that youth. I got out. An enormously compassionate heart, faith and a voracious appetite to learn & teach leadership skills to girls like 'ME' - I became that "wise aunt".... I see it in their eyes and I know who to choose and what they need. I know because I've been there... I tell them what I see in them (obvious strengths, obvious flaws)...
I hit a an emotional wall that coincided with the sudden progression of a mood disorder I'd had for decades.

In a sense today I am that teenage girl filled with fear. When one has literally hit their breaking point and lost touch with what is real and what is not, it makes EVERYTHING feel wobbly and everything inside you feel wobbly. Psychosis is scary.
Being authentic and telling people about my illness - which is scary too - will equip all of us to do what's best for everyone.

I am a transformational leader.