I’ve been wanting to see this movie for a long time, but I never got a chance when it was going through theaters the first time. And after reading the NY Times Review, I wasn’t quite sure I could handle some of the material. What? She loses her dog? This may be too much for me.
Turns out, it was. Danielle was there to witness my public bawling performance at the local second-run pub theater. When I got home, I immediately gave Norman and Lilly squeezes and assured them, mainly for my own benefit, that I would never lose them.
Aside from my own personal issues, the craft behind the film was as fantastic as the critics claimed and I especially enjoyed the clean, well-framed shots. As for the main character, Wendy (played beautifully by Michelle Williams), I can’t say I identified with her beyond loving my pets. Many of her choices, like sleeping in the woods near the railroad tracks alone one night or stealing dog food (which got her arrested and her dog impounded) when she still had a bit of money seemed blatantly self-destructive. In fact, the whole premise of embarking on a trip in a beater Honda from Indianapolis to Alaska with less than $600 in cash and no credit cards seemed absurd beyond youthful idealism.
At the end of the NY Times review, the explanation about the rating reads:
“Wendy and Lucy” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has some swearing, a little drug use and a brief implication of violence, but no nudity, sex or murder. The rating seems to reflect, above all, an impulse to protect children from learning that people are lonely and that life can be hard.
I would only add that perhaps this film is also not suitable for PETA members and overly-emotional animal lovers like me.