TCM ran A Summer Place
(1959) last night. As much as I love classic movies, I'd never had any interest in it until I read the "dysfunctional family" description.
I've usually defaulted to Mommy Dearest
when describing the adopted Mommybitch - I'm really stuck on this, huh? - whose abuse and self-absorption set me up for my high school guidance counselor perp.
However, in Summer Place, Ken's wife Helen was in some ways an more accurate Mommybitch representation: a wannabe social climber who'd manipulate anything for her own financial gain, under the guise of "concern" for the kid's upbringing, invoking her own twisted judgmental morality. Did I mention she was a virtual sociopath?
Fortunately her daughter (Sandra Dee!), like me, eventually extricates herself, through her own young missteps and rejection by Helen, finding acceptance - faults and all - with her dad and his second wife, not unlike the acceptance I found with my dad and his second wife.
Just putting the interesting observations out there. Any takers?