To The Bone Review

I’m not in the habit of reviewing things on my blog but I watched this on Netflix last night and feel the need to talk about it. A word of caution, I’m going to be talking about eating disorders which is what the movie is centered around so if this is a sensitive topic for you, stop reading right now.

The premise of the story is about a girl, Ellen, who’s been in and out of hospitals and treatment facilities for her eating disorder. After the last time she was kicked out of the facility, her mother decided Ellen couldn’t come live with her and her new girlfriend because she had dealt with the problem so long and didn’t feel like she was in the right mindset to help her daughter. So Ellen goes to live with her dad and her stepmom but her stepmom says that the only way she can stay in the house is if she gets regular weights to prove she’s improving. Ellen steps on the scale and disappoints her stepmom who resorts to using her connections to get her a unconventional type of specialist.

Ellen is sent to live in this house with other people who have eating disorders. They are not allowed to have cellphones or tablets of any kind. Those are taken away when they walk in the door. Also, any vitamins they bring in are taking away as well because even though these individuals claim they’re vitamins, they rationalize that they don’t know that for sure and don’t have time to test them. There are no doors in the house except the bathroom and everyone must come to dinner. They don’t have to eat if they don’t want to but they have to show up and the bathrooms are locked for half an hour after dinner each day. The more they reach their goal, they more privileges they receive like being able to go out and explore the town on their own.

I have to say I learned a lot about eating disorders that I didn’t know before. For example, Ellen’s disorder was she would eat and chew her food but she would never swallow it. She always spit it out. Another girl was pregnant and would only eat the bare minimum. Another girl still was actually a binge eater. So when everyone is sitting at the table and majority are trying no to eat, this girl ate too much and that’s still considered an eating disorder. If you got to the point where you didn’t eat enough, they would “tube” you. That’s basically inserting a feeding tube and forcing the nutrients into your body. There are scientific names for these but since they weren’t specifically named in the movie besides calling them an “illness”, I won’t be naming them here.

The film was very emotional as well. Ellen would have family therapy sessions with her family and you just feel how stressed out all parties are. The family are so afraid she’s going to die, especially her sister and they can’t do anything to help her. There’s one scene in particular that made me cry like a baby because her mother was trying really hard to understand. The support system was there in it’s own convoluted way but Ellen had to figure it out on her own. The specialist made a point in the movie when he said, sometimes you try so hard to help someone that, in some cases, it’s better to let them hit bottom.

I’m not sure if this movie is based off a book or not. I just made a snap decision to watch it cause of cast actors like Lily Collins and Keanu Reeves. Again, I learned a great deal and even though a good chunk of it was heartbreaking, there were happy moments as well such as Luke’s character. He was like the mother hen of the pack. Even though he had his own issues, he was always trying to keep the group smiling each day by singing and just being an all around encouraging, comforting individual.

Have you heard of this movie? Are you interested in watching it? Have you ever watched a Netflix original movie in general? Let me know in the comments below!


I’m not a writer, I’m a reader: Day 9

I went into this post thinking I knew what I was going to write. Then I went back and reread my inspiration email and realized I must have read something completely different. The post today is supposed to talk about what you do when you’re not writing. For anyone who’s read my posts so far, you already know. I read when I’m not writing or working or any number of adulting activities. Today I’d rather talk about a friend who has triggered me to write today and ironically enough it has to deal with the daily prompt. If you ever need daily inspiration, that’s a great place to start; writing a prompt around a word.

So I have this friend. I want to say I use the term friend loosely because half the time I never know where we stand. You know how you have those people you consider friends and then you have the ones that are more acquaintances than anything? This friend falls somewhere in between. He started as my boss. Hired me at my first job out of college way back in 2011 when I had been unemployed for 4 months. I remember thinking he was such a nice person; always upbeat and happy. I worked this job for about 8 months and then I got an internship so I went away for  months. When I came back, I was back in the unemployed boat. I was unemployed for about month when my friend reached out to me again through Facebook and offered to cancel all his interviews if I would come work for him again. So I did. He ended up transferring to a different location and I didn’t think too much of it again.

Fast forward two and a half years and he’s working for a different company and, at that time, I was looking for a full time job. I was tired of working multiple part time jobs 50+ hours a week. I wanted a regular schedule. He offered me a full time position at the new company he’s working at and, again, I accepted. We’ve developed a pattern at this point. We made a great team so it was only natural that where he went, I followed because I automatically knew it would be a great working relationship. Everything I ever learned about being a manager, good and bad, I learned from him.

Series of events later and he and I are no longer working together. I left the job for various reasons. Unfortunately, one of those reasons was him. It’s amazing how power can change a person. I decided he no longer had my best interests at heart, as my friend, and it showed. Anybody that knows me, knows that I try really hard to fix a friendship if I feel its worthy enough. I didn’t want to leave the job on a rocky note so I met with my friend and we had a heart to heart about the events that led up to my decision to not only better my life for my long term goals but also so that we could stay friends. I cared about him a lot and it didn’t sit right to have a job come between us.

Fast forward to today and we still talk on occasion. His life though is not so great. He’s almost what you call a people pleaser. He tries very hard to make everyone happy without any regards to himself and his true feelings. Needless to say, I’ve seen it burn some bridges in his life. It also doesn’t help that his health is steadily declining. The most recent scenario in his life involves him saving his brother from losing his house by moving in and paying his mortgage for him. The time has come where my friend feels that his brother should sell him the house. Naturally, that makes the most sense especially since his brother’s credit score has been prospering because of him. The house gets reviewed and a price put upon it. The brother is not satisfied and demands more money… from his own flesh and blood…. who’s saved him all this time…. Family mean nothing?

I had a lot of things to say about this. I won’t go into detail but you can imagine where my thoughts went. One of my main points was he should move and get his own house and wash his hands of this ridiculousness. He’s torn because even though he agrees with me he still feels he should help even though he literally can’t afford it. Instead of letting his brother accept defeat, they sit in this limbo where he’s still paying this mortgage and his brother isn’t budging on his terms.

I just don’t understand. Sometimes the best way to get to a better outcome is to accept defeat. There’s that phrase that failure is not an option but sometimes it’s the only option. I believe my friend needs to evaluate his life and focus on the things that matter the most; specifically his health. He’s letting other people’s words, emotions and actions drive his decisions and they usually don’t end up in his favor along with working himself to death. His coping mechanism for problems is to bury himself in work instead of face them head on.

Maybe I’m being too harsh. I don’t know.