LOVE – Is it real? What does it take to make it work? The Netflix series Love by Judd Apatow, Paul Rust, and Leslie Arfin raises some important questions. What takes an attraction farther than a romantic fantasy? What allows two people who’ve been hurt in the past to get beyond the fear of being hurt again? Sometimes we don’t know how to ask these questions. Sometimes we ask them after a relationship fails. Yet, there’s always a next time and it’s never too late to find the answers.In ten episodes, we get to know Gus Cruikshank (Paul Rust) and Mickey...

Carol, directed by Todd Haynes, starring Cate Blanchett as Carol and Rooney Mara as Therese, is a story of love. More deeply, though, Carol is a story about why we’re drawn to love a certain person. In each attraction, something missing is sensed and desired in the other. Love can bring us to ourselves in a way nothing else can - if we’re open to both the questions and the answers. Carol, then, is more Therese’s story than Carol’s. Who is Carol to Therese, a Carol that looms as large in Therese’s mind as the one word title of this film? Hard Questions To grow into...

Director Ridley Scott's film, The Martian, tells the story of NASA astronaut Mark Watney’s (Matt Damon) accidental abandonment on the barren planet of Mars. Early childhood abandonment also creates a desolate emotional landscape. People can’t be trusted. Hope is fractured. On Mars, Mark has two things to turn to: the distasteful music of Commander Lewis’ (Jessica Chastain) 1970’s disco classics and his own ingenious tactics of survival. For anyone abandoned, these are serious questions: is clinging to fierce self-sufficiency the answer? Or is human connection that has already failed a too risky music to trust? Abandonment An unexpected and violent dust storm...

On the 25th Anniversary of Pretty Woman’s release, the question for some still remains: Does Pretty Women take the seriousness of prostitution and the misuse of vulnerable women too lightly? Or is there more to the film than that? As a psychoanalyst who just re-watched this spirited and poignant film, I think there’s more. Sexual exploitation is a grave issue. Yet that’s not the point of Pretty Woman. Certain critics might say it should be. But, the fact is - Edward (Richard Gere) and Vivian (Julia Roberts) rescue each other from some serious fears and fantasies about relationships. There’s quite a lot to learn...

We all need love. Age doesn’t lessen that. Yet, sometimes it’s hard to trust love, for complicated reasons, even though you want it. John Madden’s The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel gives us a bird’s eye view into 6 serious obstacles to love. In my experience as a psychologist, the reasons for putting love off are often not conscious. That’s where help comes in handy - especially if you keep coming up against the same problem again and again. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel illustrates some of these emotional roadblocks quite well: Expecting not to be wanted  Evelyn (Judi Dench) and...