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What would YOU do for love? Labor Day Film Review

Terri attended a pre-screening and Q&A for the film. Recipe & photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Would you risk everything? Your safety? Your security? Your freedom? Your heart? What if you had a child? Would you still risk it all? These are questions that Adele ( played by Kate Winslet) must grapple with when she meets Frank (played by Josh Brolin) under impossible circumstances.

I jumped at the chance to attend a pre-screening of the film “Labor Day” and a Q&A with James Van Der Beek who plays Officer Treadwell in the movie. The opening scene of the movie has you traveling down a country road with what could have been a beautiful instrumental piece playing in the background. The music is uncomfortable to listen to, as a screeching sound ribbons its way throughout the piece.

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Lonely, depressed Adele is just as uncomfortable out in a world that has treated her badly. The one bright spot in her life is her adolescent son Henry whom she obviously adores. We see Adele’s pain and the events unfolding through Henry’s eyes. When she and Henry are thrown into a precarious situation with Frank, an escaped convict, it is nothing less than terrifying for the two. We watch as a surprising relationship begins to develop between Adele and Frank and wonder how in the world can this possibly end well?

Kate Winslet is as believable as Adele as she is in every role she takes on. Is there anything this woman can’t do? Other than one teeny, tiny, mistake in his past, Josh Brolin plays the perfect man, Frank. I mean, this guy will bake a peach pie for you AND clean the floors afterwards and oh, did I mention he looks like Josh Brolin? The acting is solid and the movie is intense. As I watched, I saw many ways this could end but I have to say that personally, I did not see this ending coming.

After the credits rolled and the lights came on, James Van Der Beek came out to a silent audience. We needed time to recover from the intensity of film. When asked if we had questions for Mr. Van Der Beek, we were speechless, still processing the events of the story.


Terri with James Van Der Beek

James by the way is truly adorable. His warm, friendly personality immediately put everyone at ease. He talked about his being a father and social media. He said he remembered when he was told he would become a father and he would think about all the things he would now have to do, change a diaper, midnight feedings, etc.

Then when his daughter was born, his thoughts instantly changed to I want to change her diaper, I want to do the midnight feedings. He says he loves Twitter because it is the only place he is never misquoted! When the questions did start rolling, he was surprised that as an audience, we were frustrated with Adele’s parenting or lack of parenting. There was no lack of compassion or empathy for the woman but as one audience member said, “I just wanted to shake her.”

After our Q&A, we walked out of the screening room to find hot coffee and a table of warm peach pies waiting for us…and ladies, I promise that if you see this movie, you will never look at peach pie the same way again. Just the sight of it will put a grin on your face.

As I walked to my car, mulling over the story, I thought that if I were in the same circumstances, would I make the same decisions Adele did? Would I give up everything for love? I was doubtful. Then it occurred to me that yes, yes I would. I absolutely, 100% would give up everything for my two boys! And that is love now, isn’t it?

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

For a special treat, learn to make the pie that Josh Brolin made every day on the set of Labor Day for Kate Winslet and the cast, using author Joyce Maynard’s family recipe:

3 pounds peaches
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco vegetable shortening
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon chilled butter, cut into pieces
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water
2 tablespoons Minute tapioca (plus 2 additional tbsp to stir into peaches)
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon sugar

1. In a large bowl, combine the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Stir in 2 tbsp Minute Tapioca to help absorb juices. Let stand, stirring occasionally.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender, work in the shortening and 1 stick of butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the ice water over the flour mixture, stirring gently with a fork. Continue adding the water just until the dough holds together. Shape the dough into a ball and divide it into two discs, one slightly larger than the other.
3. Place the smaller disc on a sheet of waxed paper, and use a lightly floured rolling-pin to roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. If the dough sticks to the rolling-pin, dust it lightly with more flour. Lay a 9- to 10-inch pie pan face down on top of the circle; flip the pan over and remove the paper. For the crust, on a sheet of waxed paper, roll out the other disc to form a 14-inch circle. Do not roll the dough more than necessary.
4. Sprinkle the tapioca on the bottom crust. Add the filling, moulding it in the center, and dot with 1 tablespoon butter. Lift the waxed paper with the remaining crust and flip it over the filling. Peel back waxed paper. Trim the edges of the crusts and pinch together the top and bottom crusts. Optional: Roll out the trimmings and cut into decorative shapes. Brush the pie with the egg, and arrange the shapes on the crust. Sprinkle with sugar. Poke fork holes or cut vents in the top crust. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Terri Garcia has been a Southern California girl since the age of two. She has lived in Los Angeles County and both North and South Orange County. A stay-at-home mom and confessed “pinaholic”, she loves all things creative. She believes in giving back and practicing random acts of kindness. She finds joy in creating thoughtful, creative gifts, traveling, historical fiction and most importantly being mom to two very active boys. Similar to the Little Red Hen, she likes to do things herself; although in the end, she will happily share the homemade bread with family and friends.
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  1. Awesome post! I might have to see this movie.

  2. Great movie review! I wasn’t interested in seeing it until I read Terri’s post. And I want to try the recipe for peach pie!

    • I love your review! I really hadn’t thought much about watching this movie but after reading your review I want to check it out and try the pie. You know how we are in the South, we love pie!!

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