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Movie Throwback: Mermaids

This Netflix picks, Mermaids, was a hard one to find, even for a Netflix addict like me. It was found by scrolling down not for a little but for a LONG time and it wasn’t the plot that got me, it was the cast – Cher, Winona Ryder, and Christina Ricci. Common, the only thing that would make the movie better is if Bob Hoskins joined the cast. Oh yeh, he does…

The movie is narrated in first person by 15-year-old Charlotte (Winona Ryder), who is living with her flamboyant mom, Rachel (Cher), and little sister, Kate (Christina Ricci). The story centers around the relocation of the Flax family to the ultra-conservative city Eastport, Massachusetts after Rachel relationship with her boyfriend, a married man, ends. The movie is funny in itself – Rachel serves finger food with tooth picks attached for dinner every night, Kate practices holding her breath in the bathtub (something no child should ‘practice’), and Charlotte thinks she is pregnant after kissing and only kissing Joe, her school bus driver.

Okay, so I lied a little when I said the cast and its hilarity is what got me hooked on this movie – it was a good structure for an introductory paragraph. It was a one-liner that Cher said that had question marks floating above my head. During an argument between Rachel and Charlotte, Charlotte states that after eighteen episodes of moving, usually after a break-up between Rachel and her love interest, that she (Rachel) moves away from her problems. Cher rebuts, “I don’t move away from problems, I move on…”

Gosh, is Rachel the master of moving on or is she a prisoner of moving away from her problems? I don’t know. I really don’t. Both sides can be argued true – it depends on your perspective.

And that’s what’s cool about this movie – it gives a lesson on perspective. A lot of life (I hesitate to say all of life) is about perspective. Questions can have two right answers or two wrong answers, it just depends on how the answer(s) is argued and backed up. For all you pattern makers and seamstresses, perspective also applies to you. A common knowledge rule in the industry is that many patternmaking errors have more than one solution. When I worked in tech (technical design), we often gave vendors/manufacturers several options to correct fit issues (i.e. balance bottom hem by eliminating from the front OR balance bottom hem by adding to the back). Also very interesting – when I was an assistant in tech design and had to help different senior techs, I approximate that seventy-five percent of the time each tech gave a different pattern correction for the same fit issue. Each had valid backing for their corrections and thus, all of them could be considered correct.

Perspective… of the Internet, there are so many tutorials, opinions, and how-to’s for pattern making and sewing issues (i.e. – how to slash and open, how to hem jeans, how to draft a sloper). Before considering one approach or method as wrong and underestimating the creator’s knowledge, consider adding their method to your repertoire of methods for the particular issue. Every fit and sewing issue is unique and because of that, every fit and sewing issue requires you to pull out your arsenal of solutions to choose which one is “right,” which all depends, of course, on perspective.

Perspective…

11 Comments

  1. Reply

    Hannah Alyse

    This is one of my favorite movies!! You forgot to mention Al from Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken 🙂 Awesome cast, story and fashion! I’m so glad they have it on Netflix Instant. I agree with your thoughts on perspective…and love how you tied the movie in with sewing.

  2. Reply

    Clare Mountain

    Only you, Maddie, could tie this film in with sewing so eloquently! You are a wise lady. Gotta love Cher!

    • Reply

      Maddie964

      it’s funny that you say that because my initial intention of the post had NOTHING to do with sewing. As I started writing, though, it somehow took a turn into the world of sewing…

  3. Reply

    sallieforrer

    Wow – how did I ever miss this movie? Must go check it out on Netflix now… I agree with Clare – amazing how this post took a turn towards sewing, and yet it felt so natural! I admit that patternmaking is still something I find incredibly intimidating – and its for this particular reason. It seems so daunting to be faced with so many choices and decisions when addressing a fit issue – and oh my god all the fit issues!!

  4. Reply

    tianna @ suffocated bliss

    Great movie. And Christina Ricci is so cute in this one. And the fashion is great, too.

    – tianna : )

  5. Reply

    Angela

    I am going to have to Netflix this! Love what you said about perspective, I think it is so true in everything!

  6. Reply

    Sownbrooklyn

    I love this movie!! Speaking as a person with a difficult relationship with my own mother and now having the experience of being a mother myself, this movie is ALL about perspective! Now, every time I watch a film from my youth that deals with parental relationships as a parent, I have a completely new understanding of it. Sometimes it’s for the best (meaning I think I understand my mother more clearly) and more often it’s for the worse. Perspective is quite powerful…

  7. Reply

    Kailey

    I started watching this movie last night! Cher is gorgeous. Meanwhile, I loved reading how you related this back to sewing ^^

  8. Reply

    Amy

    Winona! I’ve grown up with her… Great acting. I love the vulnerability of Cher’s character in trying to trust despite her fears–that always hooked me.

  9. Reply

    Selena

    holy crap…this brings back majorrrrr memories! and how much i loved it http://www.thesirenofmod.com

  10. Reply

    Meg the Grand

    Love this movie!!! And actually had an argument with someone last night about perspective… I argued that both points could be correct, they did not see the same. Ah, perspective – ever constant and changing 🙂

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