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Irreconcilable differences

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Watching the televised health care discussion at Blair House last week, I couldn’t help but think of the 1984 movie “Irreconcilable Differences.” Albert Brodsky (Ryan O’Neal) and his wife Lucy (Shelley Long) are a married couple with a young child (Casey, played by Drew Barrymore).

At first look, they seem to be living a charmed life in an environment where they have everything they could possibly want. Yet the parents, who are screenwriters, argue about everything. When they cast Blake Chandler (Sharon Stone) in their new movie and she has an affair with Albert, the divorce ensues.

The film is narrated by 10-year-old Casey, and she is what made me think about the movie in relation to the health care discussion. In divorce, it is often the children who are the most affected and as the narrator, her parent’s shortcomings are seen through her eyes. At one point in the movie, Casey is so fed up that she decides that she wants to divorce her parents.

Conservative and liberal friends who watched last week’s event all agreed that they’d really like to divorce themselves from these “parents” and that no amount of “reconciliation” is likely to change their minds. Casey has a line in the movie that I think reflects what most Americans think of today’s government: “I’m just a kid and I don’t know what I’m doing sometimes, but I think you should know better when you’re all grown up.”