WILD – Take the journey

When we are preparing to watch a movie that Jen and I haven’t seen, we like to pick an actor in the movie, do a little research about them and dedicated dinner to them. For the movie Wild we decided to pick the star of the film Reese Witherspoon. For dinner we ate foods that this sweet, southern mother had listed as some of her favorites.  Our meal couldn’t only be fried chicken and cake, so like any good southerner, we added Mac n Cheese and Sweet Tea- Cheers to you Reese!

While doing research about Reese we developed this image of her in our minds; a loving mother, full of smiles and sunshine, silly, lovable- a Sweet Home Alabama mixed with Legally Blonde type of woman. Well… that image was chewed up spat out rolled around in the dirt and kicked a couple times with the opening scene of Wild. Horrifying screams, painful moans, “look away look away” began to instantly fill the room- and that was just us! Thanks for ruining our Reese illusion right out of the gates!

Each one of us holds a breaking point within our souls and in this movie Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) is brought to the point with the tragic loss of her single mother Bobbi played by Laura Dern (The song Pocket Full of Sunshine comes to mind when I think about her mother). The characters in this movie are intelligent, well-read women who in spite of themselves make wreck less decisions! The mother, Bobbi, was desperate to be loved and loved her children very openly and honestly. Unfortunately her insecurity manifested in an abusive relationship, which she eventually recovered and grew from. Cheryl and her brother Leif (Keena McRae) endured the wrath of their abusive father until one day they all ran away together. This definitely plays a role in the development of each child. The poor choices they make as young adults clearly is the result their upbringing.

With the upset of her loss, Cheryl spirals into a few years of bad decisions and self-destructive behavior which leads to her divorce from her best friend Paul (Thomas Sadoski). She decides one morning after a conversation with her friend Aimee (Gaby Hoffman) that she is going to walk until she becomes the women her mother wanted her to be. So she picks up a book on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT, which we later learn is one of the country’s longest and toughest trails) and with no experience what so ever, buys out the REI store, puts it all on her back and begins her walk. Her determination is full on and you can’t help but hope that she doesn’t get hurt literally stepping out the front door!

Not even 30 miles into her hike Cheryl begins to weaken and think about quitting- how far does she get? You will have to watch and find out!

The movie reminded us- a little bit- of Alexander Supertramp in the movie Into the Wild – mixed with a really intense detox program. Wild was both insightful, long, and a little strange at times, but it reminds us that we can’t judge or compare how big our individual struggles feel, for a bump in the road – no matter how big it may seem  to you – may be so hindering to another person. No matter how much support or how many coping skills you may have in your arsenal even the most sophisticated person can hit rock bottom.

Today’s society has really tainted our minds for we found ourselves holding our breath every time she came across a different person on her journey (we learned that not many women take on the PCT- yet there is a whole community that does the trail!). We are so programed to believe the worst in strangers!  Cheryl finds that in the wild, when you are alone, you don’t have a choice but to trust- cautiously. We found ourselves talking about whether or not we would do it – at all. Jen, being an extremely cautious person would not have step foot out the door alone whereas Emily mentioned several times how fun it would be. We were watching the movie with others in the room and despite our varying ages (16-49), we all had parts of the movie we could relate to. If you are looking for a film to drive an interesting conversation, we would recommend this one.

The soundtrack was wonderful (think Simon and Garfunkle), the scenery beautiful, the acting was great- we felt they did a nice job filling in the movie even though most of it is Reese alone.

And oh! There is a spirit animal and a blonde little boy we refer to as the Creepy Dutch Boy- though Emily’s husband, Derek, found him very significant! The general consensus was that Jen and I watch too many horror movies… You’ll see. Anyway, over all, this movie night was a success and we are not mourning for the 2 hours we lost in the process. Now days that is saying something!

Let us know what you think.

Our Ratings – Overall – 4 reels, Tissues – 3, Rainy day – 2, Sound track- 4, Oscar worthy – 2, Giggles- 1

Who Should Watch this Movie?? –  We feel most young adults and adults will find something relevant in this movie. There is a lot of swearing, drug use and some nudity, so keep that in mind. But we feel that this movie can appeal to multiple types of people in multiple seasons of life.

WILD (Based on the book, Wild – a memoir by Cheryl Strayed)


Rating: R (for sexual content, nudity, drug use, and language)
Genre: Drama
Directed By: Jean-Marc Vallée
Written By: Nick Hornby





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    By: Emily Klinefelter

    Born in the North and raised in the South, Emily’s fiery passion for film and writing was ignited by her west coast cousin/mentor, a book editor/film director/photographer who took Emily under her wing at the age of 14. Later on she assisted the book publisher whose book became the film ED WOOD, and production assisted on a feature documentary, which further grounded her love of film and the arts. She is a rabid movie watcher. “I love films of all genres. To me they’re all wonderful and empowering. I mean other than books, what else can take you so many different places and help you escape when you’re stuck at home?” – Emily Klinefelter

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    Body Snatchers (1993)
    Psycho (1998)
    The Maze Runner
    Romantic Films

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