Jack and Rose Reunite…in the 50s

Posted: November 18, 2008 by jerkmag in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,


In the December-release Revolutionary Road, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet collaborate for the first time since that one movie with a big ship. It was pretty good.

Anyway, Revolutionary Road, set in the 1950s, details the struggles of a young, married couple, played by DiCaprio and Winslet, to adjust to the post-World War II suburban “American dream.” The problem is neither spouse is living said dream.

Both characters can’t seem to find happiness in a routine life devoid of substantive emotions and actions. April Wheeler doesn’t see the joy in being the typical, bored housewife while Frank Wheeler feels stuck in his cubicle as the “bread-winner.”

This film has relevance to me because in my writing class we are discussing the misconceptions of the “perfect” 1950s nuclear family and its representations in popular culture. Men were told to focus on their families and abandon all grandiose ideas of becoming the heroic “self-made man.” Women were to stay in the home and become the obedient mother. These Leave it to Beaver-like standards only caused more strife and made “trapped” suburbanites question their purpose in life. With this historical connection, I am even more intrigued to see this film.

The film’s source material and director are two more reasons to check this flick out. I had never heard of this film before I read about in a magazine. I was more surprised to find that it is based off a 1961 Richard Yates novel, named one of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923-present by TIME.

Director Sam Mendes’ ability to deconstruct suburban life and unflinchingly expose its flaws, much like he did in his 1999 film American Beauty, also bodes well for the film’s overall impact.

On December 26, go see Revolutionary Road for the reunion of two of the business’ best actors but stay for the film’s potentially powerful message.

~Mike Estabrook

  1. Snow White says:

    I don’t know about anyone else…but during Titanic I was just waiting for the ship to sink…oh how romantic I know. But I love Kate Winslet so I’ll give it a chance.

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