What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fireflies in the Garden is a drama starring Julia Roberts and Ryan Reynolds about the relationship between a domineering father, the son who grows up to despise him, and the mother who keeps the family together until an unexpected tragedy throws the entire household into despair. The father rules the household through his anger and his often-cruel punishments, creating a portrait of a deeply unpleasant place to grow up. There are several intense arguments and a good bit of swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t"), as well as some scenes that seem to come close to child abuse. One off-screen sex scene includes overheard noises.
- Families can talk about the relationship between the father and son. Why is the father so controlling? Why does he treat his son with such cruelty? What are the effects of growing up around violence and abuse?
- What message do you think the filmmaker is communicating through Fireflies in the Garden? Are his methods effective?