It seems that you have the lesson very well studied Claudia (see note on the movie "Little Children" in Claudia's post)…
You say, if I understood correctly, that the ending is frustrating because it fails to present:
1) the characters breaking up with the status quo,
2) the characters pursuing their passion,
3) any edification derived from the mantra "know yourself first".
It seems to me that you have found your way to answer the eternal question on how to pursue happiness, otherwise probably you should be so… assertive in the critic – não negue à partida uma ciência que desconhece 🙂
I think that this movie stresses that it really depends of the individuals (the characters are obviously little children when it comes to manage their feelings) but not only of themselves. And I’m not only thinking of relationships as an alternative (as you mentioned). For instance, chance plays a very important role – probably a role proportional to the childness of the adult characters… Chance is an ever present element in the plot that really gives a dim to absolve the movie from most moralistic accusation. Yes, the voice of a narrator could mislead us to think we were being lectured but for me it worked out to be a playful director deceiving the audience… Was there a moralistic approach? Showing the characters as little children as definitively some moral standard in the background, but what was it? Did you feel that the writer/director with that end was telling us how to behave? Something like "Be responsible, don’t destroy your marriage?"
Well, I didn't felt that… At most, maybe something more generalist like a saying: its hard to grow up and it's something that doesn't automatically end when you stop being a teenager! Returning to chance, it is presented with sufficient power in the plot to leave the notion that even the ending could be totally different, if just a single coincidence was removed from the plot…
In this movie, with those characters, they found out (separately) and rather lately ("Little Children"!) that not to break up with their status quo was the best solution for their problems. Did they stop pursuing happiness by doing that?
Any way… Maybe the book treats the theme a little bit more thoroughly and bluntly…
4 replies on “Where is the virtue in "Little Children"?”
I’m not sure that they found out that breaking up with the status quo was the best solution. They both found themselves in difficult situations (a paedophile bleeding and a trip to the hospital) and neither wanted to be alone. They returned to the safety of “home”. All I’m saying is that its a good movie when it comes to reproducing reality: how many people do you know that chicken out of doing what they really want for the sake of comfort or safety?
It just made me a bit sad.
As you are not sure that they found out that breaking up with the status quo was the best solution (the movie is ambiguous enough as I tried to say be speaking of the role played by âchanceâ?), I’m not sure that doing that (keeping with the status quo) must be the consequence of chicken out or of wanting to return to the âsafetyâ? of home.
The romanticism and adventure hip associated with breaking up with the status quo is at least as overrated as the opposite decision is underrated. Both are still looked upon filled with presumption.
I hope that out there some people are well beyond the dichotomy that the sixties gave us. Being free to do what you want is precisely that, and not just doing the opposite of what you are (were) supposed to do by you parents (grandparents?) standards. Thatâs the real freedom. You can go both ways without having to be labelled naively romantic or gutless.
Agree on the ambiguity/chance. That’s why we’re having this exchange, since the interpretations are multiple. 🙂
I’m not saying they stayed for moral reasons. And I don’t believe if they had pursued their passion they would have lived happily ever after. As I see it, neither of them seemed to love their respective spouses (being more obvious in her case). But the fact is that neither of them had a paying job or seemed too eager to….I rest my case.
Fair enough 🙂