When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)

I literally cant stop singing that in my head whenever i type it out. I don’t say it, i sing it, “when a mannn loves a wommaannn..” and then the rest is just a blurred up jumble of sounds.


The movie is about a man who loves a woman, one does all he can think of to help her, even though it isn’t exactly what she needs at the time. .. and alcoholism. Mainly a lot about alcoholism. The title is VERY misleading.

It’s quite interesting, how we see others. How we try to give them what we think they want or need. and how sometimes our guesses may be completely off. As it is in this movie. Like, Michael, dealing with Alice’s alcoholism (her recovery actually) is lost, the one who he’s been accustomed to protecting is suddenly not needed. She’s recognising that she needs to take control, to stop being so dependent.. and that scares him.We do see several times in the movie, small instances where, obviously you can still tell they love each other but they’re all undercut with a little of that whole “you can’t do this” sentiment. Like when he belittles her in the morning when she is yelling at Jess. It’s not very obvious then because it does look like she is going to far, so when Michael steps in, you think yea ok. But the way he does it is almost like “it’s ok. ignore her, she’s just like this, makes no sense”. And he does it so nonchalantly too. Putting myself in Alice’s shoes, I see how that would feel completely ugh.. that I just don’t matter, I’m incapable of doing anything.


I liked how the movie portrayed frustration within relationships (haha that sounds really terrible actually, though this can be applied to relationships in general, not just romantic ones, which is cool). The frustration, where neither one knows what is needed, or what works. I found that to be very real, it really was portrayed really well. It’s one of the most frustrating feelings, to know something is wrong but not know what it is. And also that feeling that there has to be something we can do, just that we don’t know it. Because the alternative is that we can’t do anything about it and that it’s just stuck like this, which is much scarier. I really feel Michael went through this last one in the movie and gosh, I really empathised with that.

I like what Dr Goh said about the whole “she still looks generally the same, but so different inside that when he tries to resume things as it was, it doesn’t really work”. ok so maybe he didn’t really say it like that but it was something along those lines. Like having an expectancy things will revert to normal, even if they clearly won’t. So when he treats her the same way as he did in the past and she’s furious, he has no idea what’s happening and can’t accept that. She on the other hand can’t seem to fathom his misunderstandings, which is sadly quite close to real life. We often assume others  have a generally similar way of thinking as we do, and when we find out it’s not how it is, we get a little (or a lot) frustrated.

It reminds ms of this french word, “gnossienne” or something. what it basically means is the realisation that regardless of the closeness you feel to another individual, physically, emotionally, mentally etc., there are still parts of them that you won’t ever understand or know, just because you are not them... if that makes sense.

It also reminded me how we try to be consistent with people. Like how we see others after a really long time and we pick up where we left off. Even if that self is not who we are now, or even if they’re different, but just who we were when we were with that person. It’s so interesting how meeting people from your past can do that. It’s like a sudden bubble of the past that you become submerged in when you meet these people. So cool.

I also thought about how hard it is to truly show those closest to you how you feel. Like in “Eat drink man woman”, Chu found it so hard to express his true feelings to his daughters and vice versa. Here, we see how both Alice and Michael are so frustrated but find it so hard to express it, even with the help of a counsellor. Even though you love them so very much, it’s just a little weird to show them who you are, maybe because of habit… which is weird because if you aren’t really true to yourself 100% of the time, this’ll make it hard for you to acknowledge your own faults and then do what it takes to grow and move past them. Then again, I can’t help but to think of all the times in my life where I behave differently with others and hide certain parts of myself, especially the good parts like happiness and joy, out of habit. Which is a little sad (i hope this makes sense).

Another thing, just a random thought. It’s weird how time passes in the movie-verse… it basically doesn’t. (i’m sorry i sound ridiculous.but i can’t articulate this into proper sentences. it’s basically just a feeling of awe at some really normal thing I guess) Everyone is just frozen in that point of time, doomed to replay their entire lives exactly as it is when someone hits the play button. Sometimes I wonder if our lives are actually like that, if that’s what hell actually is.. no fiery pit or anything, just us, reliving our worst moments over and over again, being unable to anything about it each time. (well that took a dark turn haha, i guess that’s a sign that I should go to sleep, yes, well ok)

The portrayal of alcoholism in the movie, to me, was quite good actually. Let’s just look at some screenshots with words on them to illustrate this point.

tumblr_m5ua6l2OHF1qandico1_500 tumblr_m2jx467O6m1qandico1_500

It really reminds us of their perspective in a way, what they’re going through. Although a lot of this kind of apply to low self-esteem instances, which most of us have. So that’s pretty interesting.

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Tina Majorino

Tina Majorino

I’ve seen her quite a lot on tv, Veronica Mars, P!NK’s F*cking Perfect video.. Gosh, I have never seen her this young before, and I never knew she was such a great actress. Her acting was just amazing, and she was so young too.

she’s so sassy

And also, the thing about watching all these old movies, when you recognise someone, they always look so young, and for some reason Im always blown away like this. I mean sure, I understand the concept of human development, you start young and you grow older, you’re not just suddenly born a 30 year old. But somehow, n the world of movies, I’m always just completely wow-ed when I see an actor/ actress that I know in their younger days. I’ts just SO different haha. Like, Amy (the babysitter) whose actress plays a character in Supernatural. I’m also pretty sure she was on Friends at some point…

On a completely irrelevant note, there is a mosquito in my room and it’s bitten me so many times that i’m sitting here typing with one hand while the other scratches all over. I want it to die.


One thought on “When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)

  1. ‘Cause for the first time in forever
    There’ll be music, there’ll be light!
    For the first time in forever
    I’ll be dancing through the night…
    Don’t know if I’m elated or gassy
    But I’m somewhere in that zone!
    Cause for the first time in forever
    I won’t be alone

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