Not All Authors Are Lonely

One of our favorite duos Allison Janney and Elliot Page (The former Ellen Page) star in 2016 Drama Tallulah. Janney’s character Margo Mooney is an author of marriage-help books and tries to portray herself to be the ultimate master of a nuclear family structure. Although, from the first point she was introduced in the movie, it is clear to see that she is afraid of being alone. Margo lives by controlling what she can around her. Tallulah surprises Margo at her apartment when she claims to be her son Nico’s girlfriend. Margo is outwardly dismissive of Tallulah and her doorman offers to kick out the young hippie-like homeless girl on her next attempt to enter the building. But, par Margot’s request, Tallulah is given permission to enter her building and even her apartment to enlighten Margot in new ways of thinking.

I believe that Janney’s character, Margo Mooney, has both obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and avoidant personality disorder. The way that Margo goes about her day-to-day life reflects a person that doesn’t want to socialize with other people. However, she gravitates toward the people that show any interest in her and becomes upset with them when they don’t meet her own standards.

Margo finds it difficult to live with another person and a baby in her apartment. She is bothered by Tallulah watching her cook dinner. Margo asks her to stop staring at her and claims that she doesn’t normally cook “in front of an audience.” Margo also becomes disturbed when Tallulah decides to stand outside of her van near Margo’s apartment and sell lemonade. Fearing that the neighbors will judge her.

Tallulah wakes up that night and attempts to make a run for it and steal some money, leaving the baby with Margo. Tallulah decides that she can’t leave, instead she falls asleep in the back of her van. Margo brings the baby outside on her hip and wakes up who she believes to be, her sons girlfriend. Margo brushes the incident off and discusses ways in which Tallulah could figure out how to become a better parent. Continuing to aid Tallulah in the care of the child. Showing that she’d rather believe Tallulah and have someone around than to question her about her motives and risk finding reasons to dislike her.

Tallulah lays out old newspapers and asks Margo to help her with repainting her ex-husbands paintings. This is interesting in itself because the way Margo views it is that Tallulah made a mess in her apartment, but the fears that she shares are just as interesting. Margo talks to Tallulah about some crazy things she did when she was younger. Tallulah tells Margo that her son would benefit from hearing the story. Margo becomes visibly upset when she finds out that he had described her as a “tight ass” and worries that was the reason he left.

The doorman Manuel, Felix Solis, has a clear attraction to Margo from the start of the movie. While her feelings towards him are a mystery. Later on in the movie she invites him up to her apartment for a glass of wine. Manuel is thrilled by her offer. After politely declining any wine, Manuel tries to kiss Margo. She pushes him off and instead kicks him out. Though Margo was prepared for that type of initiation, her desire to have control over other people and lack of self worth prevented her from kissing Manuel back. She still maintains an intense need to please people in other instances. The morning before going to her book signing, she puts on mascara in front of a mirror. She handles the mascara in a funny way, implying that she hasn’t worn makeup in awhile. Margo also asks Tallulah if she looks pretty before entering her ex-husbands apartment.

Near the end, Margo gains up enough courage to tell her ex-husband off. It’s intention comes from within her and she yells at Mr. Mooney for walking out on her and abandoning the family. But Tallulah helped in the preparation. Although Margo didn’t warm up to Tallulah instantly, they formed a bond fairly quickly. Tallulah challenged both Margo’s kindness and views on the world. Margo was put in situations that would be considered uncomfortable by her standards. Tallulah forced a dormant motherly side out of Margo. She even got Margo to admit that she hated the paintings that hung on her own walls.

The ending made it unclear what exactly happened to the two leading ladies. However, Margo remained in the same big apartment that she started out in and she kept the same obsessive tendencies. Just as significant, she finally seemed to be happy on her own.

Analysis of Disney Movies Teaching Children about Complex Subjects (i.e. Mental Illness)

Children can learn at a young age about mental illnesses and still be engaged. Disney movies allow for their young audience to get insight into what mental disorders really are and how people with the disorders act. Acknowledging that mental disorders exist can help to prevent future stigmas. Showing children what mental illnesses are will help them to better understand it and prevent them from questioning the existence of mental illness in the future.

The Disney brand accepts its role of having a huge impact on how Western society children view the world. They do their best to take real life circumstances, social norms and psychology and arrange them in a way so that their young audiences can understand and gain knowledge from. Disney has a tendency to make their main characters animals or include fantasy situations that arise. Regardless of whether they are human or not, the characters have enough personality so that children can associate the character’s behaviors with their own.  The struggles that Disney’s main characters go through are more often than not relatable to children. While also teaching them about issues that might not affect them personally, but occur around the world.

Disney movies also open up children’s minds to multiple things. Disney and other movies made for children have been found to help children come to terms with what mental illness really is. Also helping to decrease the chance of more stigmas against disorders in general. Giving children the opportunity to see a variety of view points decreases the likelihood of their own perspective becoming narrow.

The Little Mermaid’s Ariel shows signs of having OCD disorder. OCD or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder, where a person has uncontrollable thoughts or feels the need to do things a certain way and allows it to become habitual. Her obsession with collecting human objects and encountering human interaction is over the top. Ariel collects human objects that she stores away in a cave only to be seen by her and her friend Flounder. In her head she identifies her cave as being organized, but throughout the movie you can see that the cave is actually quite messy and dysfunctional.

Disney movies are made to be entertaining for children. These movies are aesthetically pleasing and do their best to broaden children’s horizons. The cinematography explores multiple colors, various locations and even plays with characters other than just humans. The goal is not to produce movies that super realistic. They would rather explore wild characters and fantisical scenarios. This adds the benefit of having room to explain what mental illness really is and maintain hold of children’s attention. Children grow easily tiresome of things that remain static and long for diversity. Incorporating big themes, such as mental illness, into Disney and other children’s movies works to spark a conversation around them.

One Disney movie that has been noted to explore characters with mental illness is Alice in Wonderland. Throughout the movie, Alice’s characteristics point toward her as being schizophrenic. Schizophrenia disorder is described as a person who suffers from a disconnection with their own feelings and they lack concentration. Schizophrenics usually have various hallucinations. They also lack the ability to relate to most people and as a consequence, avoid social events. The character Alice engages in conversations with herself and tries to will herself into accepting what she views to be reality. Alice essentially is stuck in her own dream. Which could be argued is what is deterring her from accepting reality. In the beginning we can also see that Alice struggles to relate and communicate with her own mother. Which inevitably causes her mother to negate everything she says and question her thoughts.

Another children’s character that exhibits a mental disorder is Tigger. Winnie The Pooh’s Tigger has qualities that suggest he has ADHD. ADHD or Attention-Deficit Disorder includes people that have difficulties paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. This disorder is normally found during the adolescent years of children and follow them through adulthood. Tigger is without a doubt social and extremely outgoing. He is always willing to try new things. But his impulsivity comes with a cost, he allows himself to cross into unknown territory and risks harming others in the process. Roo, the youngest member of the bunch, idolizes him and Tigger takes advantage of that. Tigger always means well, but sometimes he just lacks the knowledge of when to say no.

Many children’s movies are based in fantasy worlds with situations that seem impossible and would lead most people to believe that they would add further to the confusion. However, children seem to have the opposite reaction and often are better able to understand the complexities of mental illnesses. Disney is a great contributor to this process. Disney has implemented ways for children to learn about themselves, other cultures and complex issues. Disney movies in specific, has advanced the ways in which children can visually see and hear about mental illness. The greatest thing that they can and do offer is multiple perspectives, so that children are not misled or susceptible to engaging in stigmas. Disney movies have changed the way in which children learn and can react toward mental illnesses. At the same time they are able to keep their young audience visually stimulated.

Emperor Peter III: The Great

Antisocial Personality Disorder: A mental disorder in which a person consistently shows no regard for right and wrong. They are also proven to ignore the feelings and needs of the people around them. People with this disorder tend to antagonize, manipulate or treat others harshly or with an indifferent mindset. They show no guilt or remorse for their behavior.

A Hulu original TV show, “The Great” depicts an occasionally true story of Emperor Peter III (Nicholas Hoult) and his wife Catherine (Elle Fanning) undergoing a very unhappy marriage. Emperor Peter III shows some signs of antisocial personality disorder early on in the show. He shows little appreciation for his wife as soon as she arrives in Russia. He even goes as far as to tell her that she smells “funny,” which is frankly because she had to leave her country in order to travel to Russia and become empress.

The ill-prepared emperor makes it his mission to take out his unhappiness and his own insecurities onto his wife. He buys her a bear as a welcoming present to Russia. Then the next day he kills the bear in front of her. She becomes extremely upset and reveals her feelings to him during a party with other rich young adults. Peter III takes this as a personal insult and ends up punching his wife in the stomach. Threatening to perform more acts of physical violence if she ever embarrassed him again. He also showed other signs of violence to her in situations where he wasn’t provoked.

Catherine undergoes many instances where she is forced to keep her mouth shut in hopes of creating a better Russia in the future. Throughout the series, Peter III has several different mistresses and has no remorse when cheating on his wife. Eventually, he decides to pay an act of kindness in his own mind and gifts Catherine a lover. Catherine is unsure of what to do with Leo (Sebastian De Souza) at first. She tells Peter III the morning after they spent the night together that she was grateful and that he could go back to where he came from. Peter III took this to mean that she didn’t like Leo and he wasn’t satisfactory. As a result, he ended up punching Catherine’s lover in the gut and kicking him repeatedly until she convinced him that she was just being silly and was delighted at the thought of keeping him.

As many people with antisocial personality disorder, Peter III prays on anyone that he feels are weaker than him. His favorite mistress Georgina (Charity Wakefield) was keen on staying around the emperor just to reinstate her place in the court. Forcing her husband and Peter’s “best friend” to stay there right along with her. In one of the episodes, Georgina suffers some major abrasions to her neck and when her husband finds out that Peter III was the cause of it, becomes extremely angry. He takes matters into his own hands and takes his anger out on the emperor.

Catherine takes numerous steps to overthrow Peter III with help from some friends. Something interesting about this is that she actually did plan to overthrow him in real life and was eventually successful. Throughout the TV show, however, Catherine plots to steal his spot as the true leader of Russia. Each time that she fails, she becomes distressed and less and less hopeful. Leo is a continuing source of inspiration for her.

Peter III struggles throughout the television show to admit to himself that he will never amount to the great military leader that his father was. When asked to help plan strategic military plans, Peter III had very poor assessments. Each time that he tried to, the powerful men that made up the military would put him down and laugh behind his back. The emperor never handled this well, but there was one instance that he became immediately violent after. He felt that after he was done giving one of his speeches, he had been been ridiculed by one of the men in the military. He challenged him to a dual, but instead became irrational and stabbed him in the gut. His fate being death.

People diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder have a difficult time admitting that they can do any harm. They would also much rather blame someone else for their unhappiness than themselves. Peter III shows this behavior multiple times in the TV series. The emperor chooses to hide these qualities of himself and uses his ability to be charming in order to do so. One of the things that he questions repeatedly is why Catherine doesn’t like him, but everyone else seems to. He also drinks almost whenever given the opportunity. Which something that he struggled with in real life, according to Catherine’s diary entries about him.

Peter III has many qualities that point to him having antisocial personality disorder. He surrounds himself with people that he considers weaker or that he can in some way put down. The emperor has a hard time admitting when he is wrong. Peter III viewed himself as an intellectual with worthwhile ideas. He was certain that he was the best fit for the job. Even though he had taken credit for a number of the Catherine’s ideas.