Touching, but perhaps a tad theatrical, The Bachelors’ sorrow will likely dampen your mood with its affecting performances.
|Screenplay By||Kurt Voelker|
|Date Released||June 20, 2017|
|Carine Roussel||Julie Delpy|
|Dr. Rollens||Harold Perrineau|
Trigger Warning(s): Self-Mutilation (Cutting)
It has been about a year now since the Wes’ mom, Bill’s wife, Janine, over the course of 61 days went from being diagnosed with cancer to dying. Something that Wes has dug himself out of, but Bill is treading water. Not to imply he isn’t trying to get better. He has him and Wes move, start a new life and even goes to therapy. Also, he dates the French teacher, Ms. Roussel, just to try to move on. But it doesn’t take.
As for Wes, he makes new friends, through Ms. Roussel gets to spend time and have the attention of a pretty girl, Lacy, who has some issues, but life isn’t too terrible. That is, until his father no longer struggles but outright falls and then Lacy, who is a cutter, disappoints if not fails Wes too. Leading him to wonder, what is the point of life? His dad seemingly wants to commit to the idea of the dove effect and this girl who claims to like him is self-destructive to the point she may either die physically or just end up on the long road his dad is cruising on.
Leaving you to wonder, is there a chance for a happy ending here or will the reality of everyone’s situation simply crush them?
Collected Quote(s) or .Gifs
“It’s not that I don’t want to be reminded. I just want to have some control over it.”
“[…] spouses usually fall into one of two groups. One describes their loved one as someone who filled a void in them. The other describes them as someone who added a dimension to the person they already were.”
“If you can’t be a mother to one, be a mother to many.”
“A man without quirks is boring.”
On The Fence
I recognize that Lacy is having a difficult time dealing with her parents’ divorce and the school rumors of her being a slut, among other things. However, a part of me feels like the movie could have went further. For the way Lacy is handled sort of presents the idea the movie just wants to show everyone has issues and handles them in a variety of ways. Yet, taking into consideration Lacy is a cutter, it just felt like if they were going to show that as her coping mechanism, that it needed to be taken perhaps more seriously than it was.
When Subtle, It’s Beautiful, But Then Wes Has Unchecked Dramatic Moments
Losing someone after 33 years is hardly imaginable. Especially since that is beyond my own lifespan. So when it comes to Bill, this idea that after 33 years it should only take him a year to snap out of his funk, move on, and be okay, it seems so strange to me. Granted, he is raising a teenage son who needs him still for financial reasons and also guidance, but it kind of sucks even Wes doesn’t want to let the man try to mentally deal with the situation as he needs to.
But in that, you can kind of see, through Wes, how society doesn’t really like to let men process their feelings. No sooner than Bill gets his new job is he sent to Dr. Rollins who is chemically trying to speed up the process of having a man get over the most significant relationship in his life. Wes, in what almost comes off selfish beyond reason, possibly triggered by Lacy cutting herself, just asks of his dad to let him know if he is going to commit suicide so he’ll know if he’ll be alone. Maybe if he should take it into consideration too. And all you can think is, damn, do any of you really have empathy for Bill and what he is going through?
That is until we see Ms. Roussel’s approach to Bill and Lacy. With her, we see a sense of understanding. Not like Dr. Rollins where there is a pursuit of just enough understanding to find a means to medicate Bill. She realizes a conversation, with another person, no judgement, is sometimes all you need. Which, granted, maybe Wes just isn’t capable of yet at his age. But considering how loving and nurturing his mom seemed, the way he treats his dad, and especially Lacy, seemed quite odd.
For while you can tell there is some sense of empathy, at the same time there is this sort of selfishness. This is especially true when it comes to Lacy. Wes just came into her life and can see she has a lot going on. Yet, because he needs them to keep strong, he outright demands them to get their stuff together for the sake of his feelings. Bill he needs to be strong so he doesn’t feel alone and Lacy to replace whatever love and affection Janine can no longer give.
And while you kind of want to feel for Wes, for he is just choosing a coping mechanism which isn’t self-harming or shutting down, no one is calling him out. Well, at least in a way which makes him reflective. Lacy kind of does, in the corny, climax of a romance movie, way, but it isn’t something which hits hard. Like with Ms. Roussel and Bill’s relationship, you see the film just fulfill its obligations as a romance movie of having one character do something stupid to jeopardize the progress of the relationship. Only for a rushed reconciliation which you question the real-life possibility of working.
Overall: Mixed (Divisive)
Everyone acts their ass off but no one snapping on Wes, especially Bill, combined with your usual romance movie trajectory drags this movie from the highs you expect it to have. Which is a shame too since Bill dealing with his wife’s death isn’t a story you see a lot of the time. That is, alongside a girl who is self-destructing in the manner Lacy is. For while there is the example of Hannah on Thirteen Reasons Why, which is similar in a way, one example doesn’t mean the topic can’t be handled a different way.
But what overall makes The Bachelors labeled as mixed is just because you become more invested in what could happen than what is. To the point, you almost wish the movie was a series just so all these characters and their backgrounds could have been developed more. Since, for some reason, over the hour and a half provided, it seems that outside of us drowning in Bill’s sorrow, and some videos of Janine, we barely got to know or spend time with any of these characters.
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The Bachelors | Netflix
The Bachelors | Netflix
After the death of his wife, a teacher and his son move to a new city, where emotional connections with two women help them begin to heal.
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