Mee and My Dad: A Film Review With a Sad Ending
I hope more than anything that my words as I type them are completely wrong. After watching this video, which Stick highlighted on his site recently, I found nothing uplifting in it but plenty of warning signs, most of which are well known to Stick readers. I know the real story of this film is the re-uniting of father and adult son after a very difficult divorce between what appears to be very nice and nurturing parents. What kid wouldn’t be upset enough to make an ambush film highlighting the divorcing parent and their subsequent escape to Thailand to marry a partner 30 years their junior? The ensuing happy ending where the son reconciles his love for his father with his new lifestyle in northern Thailand, leaves out the obvious pending train wreck that is soon to happen to his newly beloved father. He is marrying a bar girl, one who he is willing to describe as only being a “hostess” even though she is covered in tattoos, but everyone who has been to Thailand more than two times knows is a total gold-digger. Her proclamations of only being concerned about her family, i.e., her children, are more damning than it seems. She will kick him out after the first drunken, abusive chance she gets in the name of protecting them. And from the many scenes of Dad quaffing many beers and slurring of his words and partaking of ganja, this will be in the near future. When it happens Lord Buddha, please find a safe place for him to land. He seems like a nice person.
Don’t get me wrong. I certainly see the attraction between them despite their age difference. She is clearly the wind to his sail, the gas for his engine, the ganja for his brain, so who wouldn’t be attracted to a woman like this? And his willingness to invest a fair amount of money in a house that is clearly in her name, in a similar situation, I would marry this man, especially in today’s real estate market. But the warning signs are there, in fact, they are there in neon and ten feet tall and in hot pink lights flashing at 200 watts. The question is, certainly, did Dad or son not see these signs before they started filming? Or did these not fit the script of what the producers (or script meddlers) decided was not going to be part of their movie? What son, after a cursorily review of the on-line web sites regarding Thai bar girls, would not have gone down on their knees and begged their Father not to marry this girl? Was this sequence not worthy of filming? Or did it not fit the feel-good tale of lost Father re-found? These were the questions that nagged me throughout this otherwise fine film, and when the happy ending soliloquy expired, so was my hope that his Father would find lasting happiness in Thailand with Mee. Please, Sawadee2000, film your story and restore my hope of a final ending with a loving Thai wife!
We don’t need to re-hash all the small signs of trouble that readers of this site know all too well; the tattoos, the bar English, the sideways looks of contempt to her husband, to know this is a match made in Nana Plaza. For those still skeptical, remember the scene where father and son were discussing old times and they started to cry. Then dragon queen inserts herself forcefully between them because she thought the son was trying to talk his father into going back home. Talk about protecting your turf; she almost kick-boxed her son-in-law out of the house. Why is she so understanding of her husband’s drinking and smoking ganja around her precious children yet would overreact in a situation like this? Clearly, there are priorities in her life, and one of them is to keep her aged husband well inebriated and out of touch as much as possible. Welcome to retirement in Thailand.
In the end, I enjoyed the film, not for the subdued happy ending but for the lessons all of us should consider when planning to retire in Thailand. They are:
1. Don’t marry a bar girl or even a girl remotely associated with a bar.
2. Don’t buy a house in her name. Become the renter of the property for 30 years then build.
3. Learn to speak Thai so you can know of any “uncertainties”.
4. Don’t go inebriated into your last years; keep your wits about you.
5. Do something, anything, to keep #4 from happening.
6. Keep close ties to all family, near and far, old and new.
7. At the first major sign of trouble, give it all up and start again.
Here’s wishing you a crowded cremation ceremony in some remote Thai wat. I will be there with my aged, but faithful and still charming Thai wife, to wai you to Nirvana.
I couldn't agree more. I watched the video and thought there's only one thing that's going to happen to this couple… The wife struck me as a real nightmare.