Initially, it’s hard to root for these lovers. They are both a hot mess of “I don’t know who I am and anything looks good right now.” And it’s worsened when they commit blatant, unapologetic infidelity. Thankfully, though, this doesn’t become the story’s focal point. Instead, it explores another set of issues the world seldom talks about; domestic abuse and family pathology.
“Things Never Said” & Other Life Lessons
Momma ain’t always right.
Family pathology is real and effects everyone. But what is it really? Simply put, it’s “being affected with an emotional disorder.” Spiritual teacher, Iyanla Vanzant, might liken it to a damaging emotional or psychological behavior that gets recycled and passed down generationally (if said disorder is not healed through.) And these bad habits pass down whether we grow up around our parents or not. Some of us can sense and identify these patterns early but for others, it’s hard to get a grip on. “Things Never Said” explores the difficulty of this and how our family’s past influences our everyday decisions. And not always for the better. It begs the question of how well we know ourselves. Whose behavior and thinking do we mimic? Has it hurt or helped us? The lesson here is that most of our behavior isn’t so random and could warrant examination.
Time heals but it isn’t obliged to right a wrong.
And that’s a tough pill to swallow. Many times, it may feel or seem we’re not over our past. But really, it could be a hope we’re holding onto that lingers, waiting for some justice or closure. And when it doesn’t come, it stings. “Things Never Said” teaches that even after we’ve healed and moved on, some wrongs shouldn’t and won’t ever receive justice.
Often, we feel trapped and doomed to recycle our past mistakes. Oprah, and her camp of motivational speakers, regularly chant that we each have the power to change our life story. But to do so, we must first believe our story can even change. That’s easier said but how else can we grow more aware of the lies we tell ourselves and chose better? “Things Never Said” proves if you want a different story, you can have it. Accept that your story can evolve and you’ll finally learn how to get out of your own way.
Story Report Card
Realistic but predictable at times. If the characters showed more vulnerability, it would’ve led to better dialogue.
Story Narration (D-)
With two protagonists, the film’s voice lost its potency even with its strong subject matter.
Story emotion (B+)
“Things Never Said” speaks strongly to the dangers of women who have not yet given voice to their truth.
Story philosophy (A)
Through poetry and family drama, this story goes hard on calling out the baggage our parents lend us on our spiritual journeys. Many of our bad habits thrive off the decisions our parents have made that can ruin us, too, if gone unexamined.