Alcohol and Drug Abuse
When a Man Loves a Woman — With a Lesson Plan on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism The movie is an in-depth dramatic exploration of the effects of alcoholism on a marriage and the changes that one couple must go through when the alcoholic member enters recovery. Michael has learned to protect Alice from the consequences of being drunk since the very beginning of their relationship. Someone he loves is in pain and Michael does what he can to reduce that pain. Alice encourages Michael’s enabling behavior because it allows her to live an intoxicated life without paying the price. Over the years, this interaction has become deeply embedded in their relationship. However, when Alice hits bottom and enters a rehab program, she needs Michael’s enabling behavior to stop.
The Lesson Plan that accompanies the movie covers the basics of alcoholism and alcohol abuse. It contains a student handout, a comprehension test, and discussion questions.
MPAA Rating: R for language; Drama; 1994; 126 minutes; Color; Recommended for ages 13 and up. (The profanity in this movie consists of the f— word and the s— word. They have been heard and used by the vast majority of children over the age of 12. The rating is egregiously undeserved, especially in light of the tremendous educational value of this film. In our opinion, this movie is suitable for ages 13 and up.)
To protect his son, the hero humiliates the high school bully in a way that charms the audience and provides a platform for discussions about the psychology of bullies.
Family Systems and Dynamics
The following films show families in dynamic change and are good platforms for a discussion of family dynamics.
This film traces the grieving process of a 13-year-old girl whose mother was killed in a car accident.
(Health (Grieving); ELA: theme, characterization, backstory, allusion, complication; Science(Biology); the Environment; World/Canada; SEL: Grieving; Parenting; Father/Daughter; Caring for Animals; Teamwork; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Responsibility; Caring) [10+]
Obesity and Fast Food
Transmission of Infectious Disease
Social Structure of a School
(Health (social structure of school; STDs); SEL: Peer Pressure; Bad Associations; Romantic Relationships; Self-esteem; Taking Care of Yourself; Families in Crisis; Parenting; Moral-Ethical Emphasis: Respect; Responsibility) [15+]
The Use of Therapy to Cure Mental Illness or Neuroses
“Good Will Hunting” is a psychologically correct presentation of attachment disorder and its cure through talking therapy. The Learning Guide to this film contains a commentary on the film by Dr. Froma Burack, Psy.D.