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Most movies are based on real life events that happen around us with themes like love, hate, revenge, family relationship and other aspects of human life. Analyzing these real life movies reveals human psychology as it is in real life on the themes developed by the characters and the eventual circumstances they encounter. Taking a deeper look at the romantic comedy, "for keeps", one can see some basic psychological concepts reflected through the live events of the characters. How the main characters natural react to the situations they encounter and their life throughout the movie reveals fundamental topics on psychology.
The psychoanalytic theory on depression has the view that it comes as a result of repressed anger (Coon, 2008). The movie shows Darcy undergoing a serious case of post partum or post natal depression after the birth of the healthy baby Thea. The psychological factors that can be deduced from the movie for her depression relate to the up welling anger, tension and frustrations in her life, that she had inadvertently channeled inward, towards herself and the unborn baby. These factors are connected to "the social and environmental conditions" surrounding her pregnancy (Coon, 2008). The dashed goal of her desired career due to the pregnancy, the parental conflict and rejection, the tension in her marital relationship, her concerns on their poor condition, general emotional strain and the un-readiness for the baby at her age are among the stress related reasons that lead to her psychological condition. One can see the development of emotional aggression toward the unborn baby.
As a result, the mother displays all the related symptoms of not wanting to hold or even wanting to see the baby and the feelings of being "irritable, tearful, fatigued and depressed" (Coon, 2008). What finally breaks this condition? The innate and natural maternal instinct towards ensuring the protection of the baby from any external harm jolts Darcy into holding and carrying the baby when she senses danger from an intruder. The stranger turns out to be Stan, but the incident perfectly depicts maternal sensitivity in response to the baby's needs, and the ensuing maternal bonding with the child (Nevid, 2008). Psychology clearly classifies this as a natural motivation, driven by instincts in ensuring the baby's survival, growth and development.
Stan is seen working hard to provide for his family; Darcy and baby Thea. The family provider even has to sacrifice a college scholarship in order to be able to work towards the same. Human motivation in striving to achieve his goal is seen in the movie. Motivation has been described as the factors "that activate, direct and sustain goal-directed behavior" (Nevid, 2008). The great urge and want of ensuring that both Darcy and the baby are fed, secure and comfortable with all the bills catered for, is seen in driving the young Stan through work. This also sustains and keeps him motivated in the "dead-end jobs" offered to him. In psychology the biological sources of motivation have been categorized as instincts as a result of behaviors programmed by nature, and the human needs and drives of wanting to maintain the a given desired state (Nevid, 2008).
It describes the psychological factors of motivation as psychological needs, incentives and cognitive dissonance. Nature takes over nurture as seen by natural response in the young husband, by taking over (adult) parental responsibility at such a young and inexperienced age. Driven by the natural instincts of being the man in the house and subsequently the provider, the incentives in Stan's situation relate having a happy family with a secure future. Being of a young age and relatively immature for a committed relationship and ensuing responsibilities, creates "an unpleasant psychological tension" referred to as cognitive dissonance according to Nevid (2008). This uncomfortable psychological state is what leads Stan to turn to alcohol, in an attempt to "bring his attitudes and behavior in line with each other", within the context of the tough circumstances (Nevid, 2008).