Movie As A Mirror For Your Holidays
This Thanksgiving week holiday, I’ve watched Skyfall, Lincoln, Funny People, The Five Year Engagement, Being John Malkovich and Fitzgerald Family Christmas. I wonder what this collection of movies says about me.
I love movies. I love watching movies. I love reading about how movies are made.
I follow Edward Burns (Writer/Director of Fitzgerald Family Christmas) on twitter. I started following him because he was so passionate and generous with his filmmaking ideas.
When I decided to write a screenplay last year, I studied Ed Burns. I now like to think of Eddie as my friend. My really smart, inspiring, prolific filmmaking buddy. He has a new film out right now and I want you to see it. It’s a wonderful movie about forgiveness and healing and family. It’s funny too. It made me laugh and cry. It made me pick up the phone and call my family to tell them I love them.
It centers around the adult siblings of the Fitzgerald family as they deal with the news that their estranged father wishes to return home for Christmas for the first time since he walked out 20 years ago.
The matriarch, Rosie Fitzgerald declares, “When he walked out on this family 20 years ago, I told him he would never set foot in my house again, and I’m sticking to it.”
My favorite line in the movie is delivered by Caitlin Fitzgerald where she pleads for “just one normal Christmas”. How many times have my sister and I uttered those exact words? What does a “normal Christmas” look like? Does it even exist?
It seems society is constantly pushing a shiny, happy version of the holidays at us, which we, in turn, stress and strive to achieve. I’ve never experienced the Hallmark Card Christmas or Thanksgiving.
There are almost always bubbling emotions and drunken uncles around the table, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Fitzgerald Family Christmas feels like a version of my truth. Good people doing the best they can to celebrate love and life together. It’s not always easy or pretty.
I think Ed Burns is the Woody Allen of my generation. His movies feel personal, real and hopeful to me. It’s like he’s been peeping through the windows of my life, even though I’m not Irish or Catholic or a New Yorker.
It’s out now on iTunes, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and VOD with a limited theatrical release in December.