Movie: Holiday Heartbreak (Spoiler Alert?)
The Holiday season is typically billed as a magical time – an opportunity to explore the potential of miracles, signs and wonders. Television networks take full advantage of this seasonal trend by offering productions meant to restore the innocent hope we had during childhood. We see movies about people finding love at Christmas, people getting things they’ve always wanted and people being enlightened. #HolidayHeartbreak may fall into the Enlightenment category. In this movie, a middle-aged man’s daughter experiences a curse on her love life due to her father’s misdeeds concerning prior romantic relationships.
Overall, as holiday movies go, #HolidayHeartbreak is okay. The main message is clear: Your past can come back to haunt you – and your progeny! There are actually quite a few gems (teachable moments) in this movie: We are reminded that “words have power,” and that we may curse ourselves by avoiding personal development. The person who the father turns to for help informs him that the perpetuator of the curse planted the seed of guilt in his mind. Guilt is a personal emotion; no one can make you feel guilty. Essentially, then, she may be telling him that he is ultimately in control of his destiny. In fact: My favorite aspect of this movie is the subtle lean towards self-examination. There’s also a very clear message about redemption and righting wrongs.
My issue with “movies like this” is that we never seem to address the root cause of the problem. We never talk about the fact that “Black” love is almost non-existent because there tends to be no orientation concerning love and relationships. We don’t educate our children about love, sex and how to conduct themselves in relationships. We don’t teach or show anything about courting. I couldn’t help but wonder if the perpetrator of the curse had ignored some signs that would let her know she was making a mistake. Maybe she needed to evolve.
A few suggestions for future filmmakers: I could picture India.Arie in the role of Michael Colyar’s wife. We could have done without the female actors showing so much cleavage. There’s even a scene where the daughter is sitting in a restaurant at dinner with her father and her dirty pillows are on full display. Why? This is indicative of the hypocrisy in the “Black” community: On the one hand we’re presenting a sweet moment where a father is showing his princess how she deserves to be treated, but the daughter is sitting there with her lady parts hanging out.
While neither the culture nor the religion of the woman who instructs the main character about the curse he is under, is revealed, there is a reference to her lifestyle as “voo doo.” This tradition has enough negativity and misunderstanding associated with it, without this reference. Every time we talk spells, and religions other than Judeo-Christianity, it doesn’t have to be a nod to voo doo. Yet, I appreciate this movie for the idea that we should explore spiritual traditions that encourage personal reflection. Traditional African religion may provide this opportunity.
Another issue: The kiss that was supposed to break the spell seemed forced. I don’t think I need to explain why this is a problem . . .
The main character concludes that the person he hurt the most with his reckless behavior was his deceased wife. I think he hurt himself the most: He missed out on the blessings the women he hurt could have been to him.
Finally: While I appreciate the overarching theme of making amends and redemption, I don’t like that the main character’s apology has to actually be accepted in order for the curse to be broken. Forgiveness is for you – so that unresolved trauma does not eat YOU up inside. We can’t control other people and their evolution. Our healing should not be dependent upon someone else’s proclivity. Females also have to take responsibility for red flags we ignore. Sometimes we choose the wrong circumstances because we are not healed and because we fail to plan for success by establishing criteria and boundaries that we may use as a measuring stick for potential mates.
Another great aspect of #HolidayHeartbreak: The soundtrack!