Juliet, Naked is a great movie that outlines how relationships—and how you are treated within them—are important in order to be happy in life. It is a film that gives examples of how not everything is perfect, but it is that imperfection that allows us to feel happy and real.The film focuses upon Annie, a middle aged woman stuck in a small town and a bad relationship with a man named Duncan. Duncan’s obsession with former American rockstar, Tucker Crowe, is an annoyance for Annie until Crowe actually comes into her life and becomes the person that motivates her to change her life. Before she meets Tucker, Annie works as a museum manager in a place that doesn’t appreciate her efforts. She is often put down and ignored by her male boss, the mayor of the town. Depressed by her daily life, Annie dreams of a better relationship, kids, and a new form of employment. Still, she remains stuck without the will to begin to make changes. Once Annie meets Tucker, he changes her life for the better by making her see the opportunities that she has to get what she wants.
Even as Annie is inspired by Tucker, he, too, struggles with relationships, especially with his children. One daughter, Grace, wants nothing to do with her father. Although sad to hear this, Tucker recognizes that it is his own fault that he was separated from her life because he abandoned Grace with her mother when she was a child. While this seems like a dead end, the movie uses this situation to make Tucker realize that he can work on his relationships with his other kids. For example, Tucker’s other daughter Lizzie becomes pregnant at a young age. Once the baby is born, the father abandons them. Even though Tucker does not have the opportunity to build a relationship with Grace, he can support Lizzie as she struggles to find her way with her newborn child.
While Tucker creates stronger bonds with his children, Annie finally decides to begin making the family that she wants. In a scene with Annie and Tucker’s youngest son, Jackson, he asks her, whose mom is she. Annie solemnly responds, “I’m no one’s mom.” This type of dialogue is critical in providing an emotional response from the audience (I know I teared up as I watched this scene). It shows that Annie struggles with always wanting to be a mom and not being able to have kids since her partner, Duncan, didn’t want a family. After Annie helps Tucker realize his faults as a father, she takes action and decides to have a child on her own, without any help from a man.
Juliet, Naked shows us that family is all around us, and that we get to choose our family in life. We have many options to change the direction of our lives and we see this through the characters. Annie chooses to break up with Duncan and to invest in a future with children. Tucker chooses to become a better father to his kids and to start making music again. Lizzie chooses to be strong and raise her child as a single mother. By representing the diversity of familial relationships, we see the possibility of being able to love whoever we want and to choose them as our family.
*Feature image shows movie posted for the film. Feature image photo credits: Amira Shokr*