Lofty dreams and sky high goals that meander among the Cumulonimbus clouds, preparing and bracing for survival during the inevitable approaching thunderstorm, are worth pursuing.

Admirable indeed as long as the pathway that gets you there is a principled one. True?

Be careful how you answer.

How often in life has a messenger brought society an important message but was so tainted that it was hard to accept the truth of what was being said?

Applying right principles and achieving important goals sometimes to the peril of others is one eternal struggle that all of us face in this life that many feel is simply a very complicated test from above.

An ever shifting one too.

This is brought to us with exceptional story telling as Netflix presents some harrowing female driven dramas where the lines of important principles become progressively blurred and eventually obliterated.

The heroine appears to change into someone else along the way, a person that is eventually hard to root for with the gusto that you initially had for her along with the future halo already purchased and in the ceremonial box intended to be gently placed upon her flowing mane at the movie’s satisfying ending.

Based upon her defined behavior, reality sets in.

By Act IV those feelings have completely dissipated.

Three films where the “Take the Higher Road Principle” weaves around curved mountains among falling rocks deftly present this common dilemma.

He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”….Friedrich Nietzsche

Is it possible that people become what they love and hate, because their mind focuses so intensely on it to the detriment of all else?

Well, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the female driven movies.

HARD CANDY article, lionsgate photo credit

Hard Candy is a 2005 American psychological crime film focusing on the torture of a male sexual predator by a 14-year-old female vigilante. The film was directed by David Slade, written by Brian Nelson, and starred Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson.

Hard Candy premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, and was screened at the Florida Film Festival in April 2006. It made over $7 million at the box office, including almost $6 million from outside the US, on a budget of under $1 million.

Hard Candy won three awards at the 2005 Sitges Film Festival, four awards at the Málaga Film Festival, and was also awarded Overlooked Film of the Year at the 2006 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards.

Since the film garnered so many awards we are provided with some insight as to why at, “David Slade’s “Hard Candy” is against pedophilia, but what does it think about sadomasochism? On one level, it’s a revenge picture about a 14-year-old girl who entraps a 32-year-old pedophile on the Internet, gets herself invited to his home, and quickly has him strapped down and helpless.

That the female is a child makes it all the more disturbing. That the film is so well-made and effectively acted makes it even more challenging.” article, lionsgate photo credit

In real life Ellen Page was 17 at the time.

Still disturbing none the less.

Wanting to get revenge against a pedophile is understandable. Not believing that there will be enough evidence to have him investigated by the police, let alone convicted, is believable.

But the journey that this 14 year takes to plan and act out his entrapment is eerie and arguably excessive.

Though she wears red, symbolic of Little Red Riding Hood, we suspect that we know who the wolf is in this grim tale.

The question is not just who she will evolve into as a person if she achieves her goal to destroy his manhood and life while escaping any legal consequences but also, is she someone that we can keep rooting for?

At some point you stop rooting for her and if he is remorseful wonder if he deserves a little sympathy.

We sense we know the answer to that one. Mr. Nietzsche, we completely agree with the sting of your warning.

On the other hand, so much of this is not about the present, but the past.

No one makes this kind of leap to emotional perdition off of an empty or limited life experience trampoline.

The larger question to us as we watched this one on pins and needles is, in terms of principles, who was she before this?

TEENAGE COCKTAIL article, snowfort picture Backup Media Netflix photo credit

Teenage Cocktail is a 2016 American drama, thriller, written and directed by John Carchietta. It stars Nichole Bloom, Fabianne Therese, Michelle Borth, Pat Healy, AJ Bowen and Joshua Leonard. The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 12, 2016.

Here is the storyline at “Feeling confined by their small town and overbearing parents, Annie and Jules hatch a scheme of running away. The only issue is, they need the money to get there. Jules suggests the couple try webcam modeling. Although she’s nervous at first, Annie can’t argue when the money starts rolling in. But as the girls soon find out, consequences can blindside you. Sometimes violently.”

And now for how others see it.

We knock on the door of the informative for some insight, “Teenage Cocktail is a quality film that goes well beyond entertaining high school romance and makes a lasting impression by highlighting the overwhelming power of blinding passion. Whether it’s Annie’s love for Jules or Jules’ dream to move to New York, Teenage Cocktail manages to inspire you to root for them to achieve their dreams while skillfully weaving in warning signs that there will be consequences to their risky decisions.”

Yes risky decisions and very fluid principles.

We do indeed root for both of them in the beginning. The launching place is the important milkshake and restaurant scene. article, snowfort picture Backup Media Netflix photo credit

Up to this point, Jules, the stronger girl, is the perfect friend for Annie.

She polishes Annie’s desire for something better than being trapped in a decade’s long small town experience by relating her dream to leave and escape to New York to fulfill her dream as a dancer or anything else for that matter.

It’s really not about being a world class dancer. It’s more about what the handsome rich stranger New York is along with his Prince Charming treasure chest of endless possibilities.

And what a point she makes to prove it to Annie.

She explains, for most of the waitresses who are all around them at this café styled diner, they were once in high school too with so many possibilities but that was the epitome of their lives which now have become desperate, monotonous and dreary.

Worst of all, completely hopeless.

Then their waitress unknowingly confirms that by asking if they go to the local high and oh what a great experience that was for her. Oh those were the days.

The two teens silently communicate with their eyes; that was the independent confirmation that they needed to hear.

So far so good.

Any of us who have escaped small towns, and even smaller dreams packaged in an embroidered casket, know all too well what they are talking about.

So, we’re in. We get it. They are the heroines and we are completely rooting for them.

Here is where the principles come into play. Just like in Hard Candy, what are you willing to do to achieve those goals?

Once again, the pathway to emotional purgatory is progressive and we progressively began to want to ask Annie and Jules to please let us out of the car that we’ve been traveling in.

We don’t care that it’s past midnight.

Where this car is headed, we don’t want to continue with them for that ride.

The eventual destination appears to be soul stealing.

Scared of the movement in the trees and all, we’re still going to walk home.

There is a consistent message in these two films.

Be very careful. The shifting of our principles is slow and progressive.

Every time that you accept and act on a questionable decision, make no mistake about it, you are internally changing from who you once were into someone else.

Even if you choose not to see it.

INDISCRETION article, Granfalloon Productions photo credit

Indiscretion is a 2016 psychological thriller written and directed by John Stewart Muller and starring Mira Sorvino, Cary Elwes, Christopher Backus, and Katherine McNamara.

The plot revolves around a married woman’s affair which comes back to haunt her when her obsessed lover infiltrates every part of her life.

First, for an outside and interesting opinion, is happy to provide. “John Stewart Muller’s new thriller is sure to engage Lifetime viewers in a way like never before. Starring Mira Sorvino and Christopher Backus, Indiscretion is about a naughty politician’s wife who has a steamy two-day affair with a young artist who can’t seem to let her go. His obsessions threaten to expose the affair and put her entire family through a terrifying ordeal.

The on-air love scenes sizzle, and Christopher Backus is the ultimate good-looking bad boy. In case you didn’t know, Mira Sorvino is married to Christopher Backus, which will give Lifetime viewers a hint of what really goes on behind the scenes. The couple has four children together.”

Did not know that.

The intrigue heats up.

When we look up their bios, though we’ve never been good at math, when these two love birds married, she was about 37 and he was 22.

Wow, these times are a changin’.

We’ll briefly focus on the film.

Let’s talk about this young virile stallion and the sensuous ravenous mature babe phenomenon for a second because you could approach Indiscretion from two different stand points.

The first is the obvious moral play.

Based upon principle is it ever acceptable to commit adultery on your mate?

Let’s face it, though at times not easy to live up to, religious or otherwise, not a hard question to answer.

So ironically in an article about shifting principles we not going to open the moral play door.

It’s just no fun.

We’re going to take the guilty pleasure approach because there is a deeper message here (at least that’s our excuse) but we will still keep a portrait of Nietzsche on the table, only we’re going to place a vase of Valentine roses in front of his face.

Okay, now that we’ve done that, time to erotically explore real life.

Look at this juicy bio at Wikipedia.

“Between 1996 and 1998, Mira Sorvino was romantically involved with director Quentin Tarantino, who was her escort to the Academy Awards ceremony where she won Best Supporting Actress for Mighty Aphrodite.

Sorvino met actor Christopher Backus at a friend’s charades party in August 2003. On June 11, 2004, they married in a private civil ceremony at the Santa Barbara, California, courthouse, then later had a hilltop ceremony in Capri, Italy. The couple have four children: daughters Mattea Angel (born 2004) and Lucia (born 2012) and sons Johnny Christopher King (born 2006) and Holden Paul Terry Backus (born 2009).”

Wow, they have been busy.

Not knowing anything about our stars real life, Mira seems to have achieved what many women envy, but find hard to attain.

She possibly has had as many boyfriends as she wanted which decades ago, say like the 1950s, could have ruined a woman’s chances for marriage, but now she has a brilliant profitable career, married a handsome much younger man and has four beautiful children along with the golden package.

We sense that she loves the sex too.

In speaking with a tremendous amount of young men, virtually every one we spoke with hates that concept.

They don’t like the concept that women can sleep with as many men as they want and still wear a white wedding dress at the altar.

They also express they should be able to sleep with as many women as they want and still wear a fresh tuxedo at the altar.

Some women truly do have it all.

As far as the film, we stopped rooting for the politician’s wife really early.


No matter her reasons, and the typical cliché of the emotionally absent but dull nice guy family oriented husband is presented, responding by having an affair on your spouse is not honorable.

Isn’t there an in-between step like therapy?

And if anyone should know it’s her because after all what is her occupation?

She’s a therapist. article, Granfalloon Productions photo credit

In the end, for most, there is a question mark about how much she orchestrated this indiscretion.

Did she manipulate the young man, sensing how he would respond so she could take advantage of a huge opportunity or did things just happen to unfortunately and conveniently fall in place and she simply made a decision to make the most of it?

The question is not truly answered but we lean towards the former simply based upon her principles.

Cheating on a spouse speaks to character.

We find these three films intriguing because of the initial perception of the actresses involved as a heroine but as we travel with them, the path we traverse becomes increasingly uncomfortable and disturbing.

Do nice guys and girls truly finish last in life?

Does the outcome they desire justify the means?

Is it our principles that get us through life or being shrewd opportunists?

Those were movies. Is life imitating art or the other way around?

In real life, there seems to be a balance between both and despite what we want to believe….

That seems to be the bad news, delivered certified mail, from an intriguing celluloid female messenger.

~ ~ ~

OPENING PHOTO Thank You Showtime – Shameless Series

Thank you Wikipedia

Mike Leary, Psychotherapist in private practice, Individual-Marital-Parenting-A&D