Sunday, December 20, 2009
I haven't read The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, but I had the pleasure the other evening of seeing the film version directed by Wayne Wang with a screenplay by Ms. Tan [and someone else]. It is a beautiful film that my wife, who has read the book, says does justice to the book. What struck me was the way it showed relationships changing. As so much of my psychotherapeutic work focuses on people stuck in relationships, often influenced by ghosts from their past, it can seem that such circumstances are diseases like and in need of treatment. In the Joy Luck Club, however, we see four mothers and four daughters knotted up in their relationships with each other [and others] and we also see knots become undone and relationships change. I found it refreshing to see a portrayal of the normal processes in relationships at work. It left me thinking again about what a feeble tool psychotherapy is compared to the good fortune of having relationships that allow for revision. I have included a link to Janet Maslin's review, which will give you a fuller sense of the film.