Format: Showtime trial on Amazon
Director: Frank Perry
I've been avoiding Mommie Dearest (1981) for some time. But Steven and Lauren were going to see the movie, and I figured - hey, this is a reminder or a sign it's time to catch up.
It's crucial to remember, Mommie Dearest was not intended to be a high camp classic - this was someone's idea of a warts-and-all, scathing unmasking of Joan Crawford and her hideous relationship with her children that blew the doors off the movie-star image, which... if you know how Joan's post 1950's career and life went, is almost punching down. Not to mention her life prior to Hollywood and stardom. And even after.
Look, Joan was very dead by the time the movie arrived and was unable to rebut the portrayal of herself in the movie, which was based on a single source, that of an extremely bitter daughter who had been cut out of her mother's will.
As I've grown older, I have become aware that smaller incidents for adults play out as grand dramas for children (just as grand dramas in the actual adult world frequently pass by unnoticed by children and people on twitter). I know we're supposed to believe anyone who comes forward with a story, and I do - insofar as I believe Joan Crawford and her adopted children had a terrible relationship.