The Cider House Rules

Saw this movie again, for the third time. Why do I like this movie so much? Mainly because it is about attachment. Homer growing up in an orphanage, Dr Larch taking care of him. He was sent to different foster parents but “rescued” or returned because they didn’t take good care of him.

Growing up in this secure environment is followed by his trying to escape his destiny. Homer Wells had to have an authentic encounter with society if the boy was going to have a chosen life at all. What Larch dreamed of was that Homer would venture out in the world and then choose to come back to St. Cloud’s. Larch’s influence on Homer is not as God-like orchestrator, but as independent, strongminded role model. Homer takes of with two more worldly teenagers but nevertheless can’t escape from his destiny and safely returns to the orphanage to continue the good work.

There are other explanations for liking this movie so much. It manages to evoke the joys of simpler times, like snowball fights, and traditional values while making a powerful contemporary social statement (in favor of abortion rights) and celebrating alternative definitions of family.

In a NYT review emphasis is placed on the rules necessary for life in general besides for the Cider House.

The need to be of use, the discovery that the official rules and real-life rules of how to behave rarely coincide — these and other life lessons that our innocent hero learns may sound like the tritest of homilies. But ”The Cider House Rules” gives them the depth and emotional weight of earned wisdom.

You can argue whether it is a sentimental movie, I don’t think so. Some of it makes it even a good movie.

What do like in this movie? Let me know in the comments.