The movie “Bad Parents” opens in Montclair tonight. New Jersey filmmaker Caytha Jentis created the movie and New Jersey native Janeane Garofalo stars in the film that focuses on parents who go to great lengths to ensure their children’s success on the soccer field. Garofalo told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that she believes parental pressures have mounted since she was a child and “Bad Parents” will resonate with audiences everywhere, not just in the Garden State.
“It’s a story about … the anxiety of parenting and how it can be taken too far like with sports programs and getting kids involved in certain things,” Garofalo said.
She said for some parents, if their kids aren’t accepted it can reflect on them or make them relive anxieties of the past. While Garofalo doesn’t have children, she said many of her friends and family members do.
Garofalo also said times have changed and now parents feel pressure to fill their children’s free hours with extracurricular activities. She also says parents can’t have it all.
“Something has to suffer. And unfortunately it usually still falls on the woman’s shoulders even if they have a full-time job to be the primary caretaker and steward of the children and their time. Not in all cases, but still I think the woman gets judged more harshly about her skills as a parent than the fathers,” Garofalo said. “And judges herself more harshly. I think there is a lot more anxiety around parenting these days than maybe there might have been before but maybe just because I’m more cognizant of it now.”
Garofalo, who was a strong supporter of President Barack Obama four years ago, said she is anxious about what she calls “voter suppression” that Republicans have been trying to implement with identification laws to secure a win. But she said she is pleased that courts have at least delayed enforcement of the stricter rules.
“That makes me nervous because elections can be tampered with. It happens all the time,” Garofalo said. “A lot of people for some reason don’t like to acknowledge that in this country. So I get worried about stuff like that.”
While Garofalo supported Obama in 2008, she said she has been somewhat disappointed with his presidency so far. “I’ve not been happy with all the capitulation to the right wing agenda. Obama has tried to be very conciliatory much to the detriment of the country,” she said. “That has disappointed me a great deal.”
She hopes a second term will change things, but pointed out that while Republicans control Congress, that will be difficult. She said some Republicans have stated publicly that they will do whatever they can to ensure Obama gets nothing done.
“I hope in his second term that he would … have much more the courage of his convictions and be less willing to take bad advice from his advisors and keep giving away in these bargains with the Republicans. That is problematic to me,” Garofalo said. “And also he kept so many of the Bush policies going and I wasn’t thrilled with all the Wall Street stuff.”