“Please let it be blood and gore. Please let it be blood and gore” is the mantra I keep saying to myself, slightly disgusted with the warm lovey-dovey fuzzy feeling I got from the last forced movie review. Finally, the TV alights. “Please let it be blood and gore,” I say it again crossing my fingers. Instead, I’m greeted by an image of a teenage boy holding a baby goat. You got me again Buzz Kill!
“Goats” has an interesting cast. David Duchovny, X-files’ Mulder trades aliens for goats, Ty Burrell continues his dead pan yuppie character, Minnie Driver has a small cameo presumably as Johanna, a spiritual coach, and the lead is played by a “Good Wife” regular, Graham Phillips. In “Goats”, 15-year-old Ellis Whitman (Phillips) lives with his New Age mother (Vera Farmiga) and her platonic friend who is a weed-smoking hippie goat herder/pool boy/landscaper dubbed Goat Man (Duchovny) in Tuscan, Arizona. His mother is slightly neurotic and self-centered, while Goat Man is indulgent and has a roll with the tide attitude. However, life is interrupted when Ellis leaves to attend boarding school and rekindles a relationship with his father, Frank Whitman (Burrell).
This movie is a day in the life of… but its character will ring true for most children of divorce from the X and Y generation. The divorced mother, who never seems to recover from the divorce and so is overly obsessed with herself and her problems that she forgets her children are growing up. The absent father, who moves on with a new wife and new family, but makes futile attempts to reach out to the children of his former marriage, often times too late. The obscure father figures, which linger around the mother, but never quite fill the deep hole that is left from a father’s absence. The anxiety and frustrations felt by Ellis as he tries to make sense of his life and find where he belongs.
Fortunately, this is a movie and it comes with a happy ending after an hour and 30 minutes. However, for the rest of us, years of deep reflection, therapy, and finally giving up is the only way we’ll move beyond our parents’ mistakes and make sense of our own lives.
Ah,… my teenage self wants to Goth it up and hide away secretly hating myself. Where is Edward Scissorhands when you need him? At least then, we could cut up some of these boxes and vent old frustrations in a creative artistic manner.