Do Writers Make Bad Moms?

nicole.jpg

If you’re a mother AND a writer, does that necessarily mean that you’re a narcissistic and potentially emotionally neglectful mom? That’s a question that was plaguing me as I recently left the theater after watching the latest indie flick from filmmaker Noah Baumbach, “Margot at the Wedding,” starring Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jack Black.

 

Kidman played Margot Zeller a short story writer from New York City who seemed to exist in her own world where she has no notion of how her hurtful and brutal non-stop commentary, largely aimed at her son Claude (Zane Pais) and her sister Pauline (Leigh), whose Hamptons wedding she was slated to attend with Claude, wounded all of those who she supposedly loved. As she openly toyed with the notion of leaving her two sons and her writer husband Jim (John Turturro), Margot was engaged in an affair with another writer, who just so happened to live near her sister’s home in the

Hamptons
. In one in a series of uncomfortable scenes from the movie, Margot was interviewed by her lover during a bookstore appearance and quizzed about whether she injected her life’s experiences into her writing and whether the cruel fathers who populated her work were, in fact, some kind of self-examination. In another scene, viewers learned that Margot didn’t just till her own life for material, but exploited the secrets and fears her sister shared with Margot in confidence, in her published stories, leading, Pauline claimed, to the eventual demise of her first marriage. Destruction, at least the emotional kind, followed Margot wherever she went throughout the movie, especially when it came to her son.

 

As I watched the film unfold – I won’t spoil plot surprises for those of you who will wade through the well-acted-though-melancholy and occasionally darkly amusing scenes – I wondered if we were in the midst of some kind of mini-trend when it came to silver screen depictions of writers who happened to also be mothers with young kids. Was it just this character, who only saw herself and her own desires, who was portrayed as a mom-writer-on-the-edge, or were there other theatrical portrayals of mom-writers in recent films?

 

elle
01.18.08

Ahhh! Now I understand why I stopped writing after I had my kids!!! Actually, I moved onto other endeavors which stole my time. However, I must say, that I was always writing in my head. I am now back to the original plan, with more time to write. At least my kids got the benefit of a covertly weird mind, with the surface being all too normal, and even boring! VERY FUNNY POST!!! I enjoyed it immensely!