"Mighty Fine" blog tour - Premieres May 25th in select theaters

Mighty Fine is a film that will premiere in select theaters on May 25th. The story is fictional, but it draws to a great extent on writer/director Debbie Goodstein's vivid memories of her childhood growing up with a father with anger issues.

Mighty Fine is set in the 1970's in New Orleans and revolves around a Jewish family who relocates from Brooklyn. The father of the family is Joe Fine (played by award-winning actor Chazz Palminteri) who tries to be a super dad but his mood swings and undiagnosed bipolar disorder cause him to take out his anger on those closest to him -- his family. His wife Stella (played by Andie MacDowell) is a holocaust survivor who was saved by Joe. "She spends her life trying to make him happy, so much that she has lost all sense of herself," says Goodstein. Most of the conflict that takes place in the film is between Joe and his 16-year-old daughter Maddie (played by Rainey Qualley, Andie MacDowell's daughter) who tries to stand up to her father only to become the target for his rage. Natalie, the younger Fine sister, is played by Jodelle Ferland ("Eclipse," "Tideland"), who acts as a quiet witness to the struggles within the Fine household.

The film addresses mental and psychological issues and domestic violence. Although the story it tells of a dysfunctional American family is a dark one, Mighty Fine is ultimately an optimistic film. It not only addresses relationship abuse and mental disorders, but it also demonstrates how victims can find strength and get the help they need by reaching out to outside sources. More importantly, this film opens a dialogue about domestic violence and mental illness, which even in today's society are issues that are not talked about as openly as they could be.

I really enjoyed being able to chat with other members of the blog tour online while we watched the film. It turned out that many of us had experienced domestic violence or abuse in some way, so it was really great to talk with others who can relate and who understand what victims go through. I think it's really important for victims to realize that they are not alone and that they are not the cause of abusive treatment nor do they deserve it. It can also be very scary to try to stand up to an abuser or to try to get out of the situation, which the cast of Mighty Fine portrayed so well.

After watching the online premiere, we also participated in a live Q&A session with the film director and actors Chazz Palminteri who played the father, Joe, and Jodelle Ferland who played the younger daughter, Natalie. It was interesting to get their take on the characters and the movie as a whole, as well as finding out how they were able to play their characters so well.

Actor Chazz Palminteri discusses Mighty Fine during a Live Q&A session
Chazz described his experience with people like Joe Fine: "Growing up there was a father in the neighborhood and everyone was walking on eggshells, that's all I can remember it as - walking on eggshells." -- I love that he used that phrase. He also talked about family patterns: "I think it's a good movie for all parents to see because we are mirrors to our children. Your child will treat people the way he sees you treat him. Your daughter will see her father being mean to his wife and will go out and find someone similar to her father. Always be careful what you say and do to your children because that is their memory for life and hopefully this movie teaches that lesson."

Actress Jodelle Ferland answers questions during the Q&A
During the Q&A I submitted a question for Jodelle that she answered. I asked her if she was a writer and if so, what did she think of her character's poem at the end of the film. Her response was, "I don't have a lot of spare time, but I do like to write when I can. I'm probably not as good as Natalie but I did enjoy reading and reciting her big poem at the end of the script, it was very powerful."

I'm happy I was able to be part of the Mighty Fine Blog Tour and to experience the online premiere as well as the Q&A session with the cast. This is a great film and I encourage everyone to go out and see it at a select theater near you when it premiers on May 25th!

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mighty Fine and the distributor. I received access to an online showing of the film and a promotional item to thank me for participating.



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