When you’re feeling sorry for yourself, unable to spot silver linings or “Keep Your Sunny Side Up,” as the old song goes, a Pity Party movie is a good way to remind yourself that things could always be worse. Let’s face it, it’s easier to feel grateful for what’s going right when you spend ninety minutes watching everything go wrong for someone else.
Pity Party Movie: Moll Flanders
Stars: Robin Wright, Morgan Freeman, Stockard Channing
Director: Pen Densham
Writer: Pen Densham, based on the novel by Daniel Defoe
Eighteenth-century England is not exactly a supportive setting for a plucky and compassionate young woman who has no interest in meekly submitting to patriarchal expectations or rules. Unfortunately, while Moll Flanders (Robin Wright) is able to escape her birthplace—Newgate Prison—and a convent where nuns are more than two centuries away from being able to contact Ronan Farrow regarding Reverend Creepy—the outside world proves quite a trying place, too.
Taken in by a woman of wealth (Stockard Channing), Moll finds her self-esteem plummeting when her job description changes without notice. Her youthful determination to achieve financial stability has blinded her to the warnings that she’s going to have an awfully hard time exploring other opportunities after she consents to a red-light-district life.
When at last Moll finds the courage to dream again, a plot twist throws her right back into utter despair. And then things really get ugly. And then better. And then—really? I mean, is there no justice? Okay, maybe it’s looking up… No. Seriously. Come on, already, people!
By the time you learn what really happened the night of that deadly storm, you’ll be more than ready for a cathartic ending that will wash out all your pent-up frustration, anger, resentment, and grief and leave you feeling that maybe your own life might not be a hopeless cause after all. Moll Flanders: Cinematherapy for when you need to throw a Pity Party and work your way back to feeling strong again.