Juliette Lewis’ new movie, Kelly & Cal, is a poignant film that rocks the norms of post-pregnancy expectations. At times fun and light while carrying a certain morose spirit, this film may be one of the most riveting roles for Juliette Lewis. I caught the NYC Screening and was riveted from beginning to end.
It’s going to be really hard not give away too much from the movie while telling you how great it is but here goes. Juliette Lewis stars as a young housewife, Kelly, who has just given birth to her first child. Motherhood, though, is not the blissful, beautiful experience that many tout it to be for her. She finds herself lonely and exhausted, a bit down in the dumps about having to completely leave her past life as a punk-rocker. She strikes up a unique friendship with Cal, a teenager in the neighbourhood of her idyllic suburban setting. At first an odd pair, they quickly bond over their peripheral existence in the lives of their loved ones. At times driven by her humane desire to help him succeed, Kelly becomes an awkward sort of mentor. A other times, she is led by her desire for acknowledgement and love, spurred on by his teenage attention. At times uncomfortable to watch, Kelly & Cal touches on post-partum depression in a gentle, non-judgmental manner. As a pregnant woman, I left the movie wondering how I would deal with life if in her situation and I was troubled by the lack of inner re-assurance that I would fare better. A sign of a significant movie is one that makes one question one’s own sense of morality, which this movie did. While everyone can agree that Kelly was ‘wrong’, it was hard to not include her in the role of victim. It was difficult to label even Cal as the victim. They were simply two humans experiencing a very human experience together where things get a bit out of hand.
Kelly & Cal is a movie to see if you love films that touch at the core of the human experience, never failing to omit the truly painful, cringe-inducing moments that we hope only our diaries see. Click here for more information and to check out where you can see Kelly & Cal.