Sheila Benson's reviews Feb. 13 of the new "father-son" movies starring Sylvester Stallone ("Over the Top") and Anthony Hopkins ("The Good Father") lead me to a suggestion:
These films--one bad and one good--focus on paternal rage and fear over the loss of sons or the emotional distance from sons. This "male" theme speaks to current notions that men are failing as fathers and must change somehow.
Yet if men are truly angry and fearful over what's happening to their sons and themselves as fathers, they should try the following exercise in father-son communication:
Take your teen-age son to see "Platoon," alone. Talk about it. It raises, without ever mentioning them, key questions for fathers: Will you discourage violence in your son that will lead him to kill and be killed? Will you protect him from war? from racism? from despair?