Monthly Archives: September 2012

Darling Companion — Movies for Lawyers — The Act Of Communication Point Of View

24 September 2012


One of the best things about being so busy with performance and travel this summer is catching up on movies in the hotel room and the airplane that I didn’t get to see when they were released. I clearly remember seeing the trailers for Darling Companion and whispering to Alan, “I am SO there!” Of course, then, when it hit the big screen I wasn’t. Funny how I always think I screwed up and missed a film instead of thinking, “Wow, that sucker must have been pulled after being on the big screen for about 26 seconds.”

So…why was this sucker only on the big screen for about 26 seconds and what is the big lesson for lawyers about the short lived release? Why would something created by Lawrence Kasden and starring Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline and Dianne Wiest only be out for 26 seconds and what should you learn from that?

Pretty quickly into this movie you realize that this is sort of The Big Chill revisited 30 years (yikes!) later. A series of disparate stories united by a common thread. And yet…it is amazingly unsuccessful. More disparate than united. It is really three pretty interesting separate movies forced into one film. Whoops.

It reminds me of cases that are tried as rubber stamps of one another. Cases tried by “specialists” in a certain kind of law (pick ANY specialty) as rubber stamps. This is not only a bad idea in the movies (you actually CAN’T recreate The Big Chill today) but really a bad idea when trying cases. I know I have said this in other reviews of other films…but…it is still a point worth embracing.

What is unique about this case? How is it not just like all your other cases? And, what is the main story for crying out loud?


TIP: Are you trying them one at a time – and uniquely?


Hope Springs — Movies for Lawyers — The Act Of Communication Point Of View

5 September 2012


You may ask yourself, “Why did Katherine scream ‘Get out of this relationship!’ to Meryl Streep during the first scene of Hope Springs?”  The answer is “because I work with lawyers”.

In this film supposedly aimed at me (white, female, older, hates-car-crashes-loves-relationships) Streep’s character, Kay, is married to Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) for what seems to be way too long by the time the film begins. He doesn’t appreciate her, sleeps in a separate bedroom, and you know that at his very base is never going to change. Despite seeing the ever reassuring Steve Carrell’s marriage therapist, well – you see it and tell me what you think of the ending of this film and whether or not it gives you hope for Kay’s future.

At any rate – I promised to tell you why I screamed at Streep because of working with lawyers.

Every day of the week with a “y” in it, I meet couples who are together but who have had their physical and emotional relationships severely impacted by injury. In my head right now I can see a man who is married to a woman in chronic pain. He tells me every time he touches her he is afraid he is hurting her – and so he has stopped. Into my head and heart comes a woman whose husband is severely brain damaged. She is now more like his mother than his wife – which makes her feel like having sex with him is just plain creepy. Not everyone who is paralyzed from the waist down feels sexy. I’ve met victims of sexual harassment who just can’t connect emotionally with their spouses – even though their therapists are easily as charming and well intentioned as the one in this film.

You see, Kay can leave Arnold.  The people lawyers introduce me to can’t.


TIP: What will never be made right for your client?