Veterans Day double-feature that faces PTSD in the 21st century

In honor of our veterans, AHFW recommends two sobering films that may have slipped past you in the theatres.  These pictures cope with post-traumatic stress disorder in the 21st century, and they are both available on Amazon Prime. “Thank You for Your Service” (2017) – Three young Iraq War veterans and friends return home to Kansas, but realize that they carried invisible, cerebral scars back from the Middle East.  Director Jason Hall and actors Miles Teller, Beulah Koale, and Joe Cole raise PSTD awareness in 2017 with their grounded, heartbreaking…

10 Bad-relationship Movies: 1. ‘Fatal Attraction’

1. “Fatal Attraction” (1987) –  Don’t cheat.  Don’t cheat on your spouse.  Don’t cheat on your spouse, or you’ll find a bunny in a pot.  That was the message delivered to every married man in 1987 in the wild psychological thriller “Fatal Attraction”.  When Dan (Michael Douglas), a married man, has a one-night fling with Alex (Glenn Close), he thought their “relationship” would only last one night, but she wanted more.  Alex becomes relentless which threatens Dan’s insulated world with his daughter and beautiful wife Beth (Anne Archer). In Dan…

10 Bad-relationship Movies: 2. ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’

2.  “Kramer vs. Kramer” – This Dustin Hoffman/Meryl Streep vehicle is an outstanding American movie – that garnered five Oscars wins, including Best Picture – about a not-so-great American pastime: divorce. On an ordinary day, Joanna Kramer (Streep) simply packs up her suitcase and says good-bye to her husband Ted (Hoffman) right after he gets home from work.  She explains (later) that she lost her self-esteem, was unhappy in their marriage and didn’t feel worthy to mother their son Billy (Justin Henry). On the day of reckoning – while standing…

10 Bad-relationship Movies: 3. ‘Gone Girl’

3. “Gone Girl” (2014) – Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) goes missing, and her husband Nick (Ben Affleck) is the prime suspect. Even though he insists that he had nothing to do with her disappearance, just about all eyes – including those glued to the television – believe that Nick killed Amy. Director David Fincher’s thriller closely follows Gillian Flynn’s wicked novel, including some extremely heady surprises.  One of the best films of 2014, “Gone Girl” centers around a complicated marriage, and the appearance of a spousal murder is the least byzantine…

10 Bad-relationship Movies: 4. ‘Revolutionary Road’

4. “Revolutionary Road” (2008) – Director Sam Mendes’ cautionary tale about marriage lives in the 1950s, a time-cradle for suburban expansion, and Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio) and April (Kate Winslet) Wheeler put their best feet forward to raise a family. While Frank gets tangled in the humdrum existence of a thankless corporate job, April stays home to raise children.   They soon discover that their surrounding environment does not naturally fulfill contentment, so April suggests that their family just leave it all behind and runaway to Paris. Peer pressures attempt to keep…

10 Bad-relationship Movies: 5. ‘The War of the Roses’

5. “The War of the Roses” (1989) – Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner starred in the wildly funny action-picture, rom-com “Romancing the Stone” (1984) and its less-magnetic sequel “The Jewel of the Nile” (1985).  Four years later the two paired up again in another comedy, but a dark one.  Danny DeVito – who also acted in both previously-mentioned films – spins the story of Oliver (Douglas) and Barbara (Turner) Rose, a couple pitted in a vicious divorce proceeding that purposely delves into cartoonish altercations. Barbara wants the divorce, and her…

10 Bad-relationship Movies: 6. ‘Blue Valentine’

6.  “Blue Valentine” (2010) – The title of director Derek Cianfrance’s film is exactly what one would expect.  It’s a love story that goes south, and the unfortunate man and woman caught in the downward spiral are Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams), respectively.  This young couple’s initial attraction to each other is clear, and marriage seems like a romantic forever-rendezvous and the most logical next step. Altruistic bliss is their vision, but reality sets in during a five to six year-relationship, when money, alcohol abuse and the monotony…

10 Bad-Relationship Movies: 8. ‘Smashed’

8. “Smashed” (2012) – Alcoholism tortures the soul by compelling one to share their existence with a drug, and Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul) both perfectly fit the profile.  They struggle with alcohol, but director James Ponsoldt keeps much of the focus on Kate, as her addiction greatly impacts her job. She’s an elementary school teacher. Kate eventually hits rock bottom and decides to get sober, but her uphill climb becomes considerably steeper, because Charlie does not share her goals.  Their marriage has drifted apart in only…

10 Bad-Relationship Movies: 9. ‘Nebraska’

“Nebraska” (2013) – Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) is delusional.  He repeatedly attempts to walk from Montana to Nebraska to collect an alleged lottery prize, and finally, his son David (Will Forte) decides to save his dad from the continued pedestrian torture.  He drives him to Nebraska, and they make a dysfunctional road trip out of it in one of Alexander Payne’s (“Election” (1999), “Sideways” (2004)) signature dark comedies. Even though Woody and David’s father-son despondent bond is in dire need of some cheer, his marriage to Kate (June Squibb) has…

10 Bad-Relationship Movies: 10. ‘500 Days of Summer’

Hey, February is a celebrated time of year!   Groundhog’s Day, Black History Month, gorgeous weather in AHFW’s home state of Arizona, an occasional extra 24 hours for leap year, and of course, Valentine’s Day, one of most cherished days for couples. Although, Valentine’s Day embraces loving relationships, some should not be modeled as examples for romance.  To our delight and dismay, bad relationships can be found almost everywhere on the big screen.  A dime a million, perhaps?  Well, AHFW narrowed down 10 of the best bad-relationship movies, but there are…