The women form a choir, or a singing club, in “Military Wives” (Photo Credit: Sean Gleason/Bleeker Street).
We Are Family
On the song “We are Family,” Sister Sledge sang, “We are family, I’ve got all my sisters with me.”
That song became a timeless anthem for “sisters” worldwide.
Sisterhood is a powerful thing.
When women get together and unite behind a common cause there is no stopping what they can accomplish and/or overcome.
In the movie “Military Wives,” the strength of women is highlighted in a charming, heartfelt and melodic manner that proves that life can become less unbearable when a person does not have to bear their cross alone.
If a person has ever known a person that has gone to war, then they probably know how excruciating the waiting game can become.
When mainstream media breaks news about a soldier losing his or her life in a foreign land, loved-ones get sick to their stomach at the thought of it possibly being their family member or friend.
Family and friends put their loved-ones on the prayer list at church.
Some take to alcohol and maybe worse because of the stress.
And somehow, military spouses have to put on a brave façade to shield innocent children from the raw and harsh realities of warfare.
While the spouses have to play mother and father for the entire family, who has the spouses’ back during such a tumultuous time?
In “Military Wives,” the wives of British soldiers sent to fight in Afghanistan create their own support group, which provides activities and sisterhood for the women who might need a shoulder to cry on or simply just a night out with the girls to release some tension.
Unfortunately, anytime a group forms, a struggle over power might ensue.
In the past, Kate (Kristin Scott Thomas, “Tomb Raider”) has run the group of military wives.
But now, the younger Lisa (Sharon Horgan, “Game Night”) has assumed command of the military wives’ social club.
Their leadership style could not be more different.
Kate symbolizes stereotypical old Great Britain.
She is old.
She is proper.
She is stiff.
She is serious to a fault.
On the contrary, Lisa represents the new school.
Instead of having the military wives participate in book clubs, knitting clubs and formal dinners, she prefers coffee hour and happy hour.
Kate likes to create a schedule of activities while Lisa is more of a fly by night kind of person.
While the military wives seem to gravitate more towards Lisa’s loose leadership style, Kate is the typical old head who finds it impossible not to tell the new school how things should run.
She symbolizes the old school person who loves to tell the youngsters how things were done in their day.
While Lisa is more like Kanye West when he said, well homie this is my day.
Kate initiates a choir amongst the military wives that she envisions as more of a standard and classical choir.
On the other hand, Lisa insists on calling the choir a singing club and wants to perform classic pop songs as opposed to classical standards.
While Kate marvels at the musicianship of artists like Mozart and the fact that classical artists could read and compose music, Lisa replies that The Beatles couldn’t read music and they still did O.K. for themselves.
As a result, a tug-of-war breaks out between the former leader of the military wives and the current leader of the military wives.
While backroom beef exists within any organization, when that beef spills over into the public, then a real problem exists.
And the military wives’ singing club, or choir depending on who actually runs the group, gets invited to perform at the Festival of Remembrance at Prince Albert Hall they can provide much needed strength and comfort to a nation at war.
Or they can make fools of themselves if their drama spills out on stage and in front of a national television audience.
Like any singing group or choir, the military wives do a test run to see how they fare in front of a live audience.
However, the standing ovation that they might have envisioned does not happen.
Instead, the military wives get more of a Randy Watson (Eddie Murphy), “Coming to America” response from their first live audience.
After the debacle of a first performance, the military wives have to determine if they will let a little setback serve as their swan song or allow it to lead to getting it right the second time around.
“Military Wives” will tug at moviegoers’ hearts not just because of the realities of war.
The movie and the characters have their sappy moments.
But moviegoers will admire how the military wives come together to form a family despite the differences in personalities.
While military wives like Lisa and Kate have experience dealing with their husbands’ deployments, Sarah (Amy James-Kelly) is a nervous wreck because this will be the first time that she is without her new husband.
The newlywed stresses out with every message she receives from the military about her husband’s troop in Afghanistan.
Sarah bonds with the older Kate because of her experience as a military wife.
And truly, those types of bonds are what make families so great.
Those who came before you try to lay the groundwork so your life will not be as a difficult as their life have been.
And when things get rough, as they always do in life, those who came before you should be there to comfort you in your time of need.
That’s what families are for, whether it’s the family you are born into or the family you choose like close friends.
And the military wives definitely become a family, through the good times and the bad times.
“Military Wives” is now available for rental or purchase on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video and other major video on demand platforms.
The movie is also free to Hulu subscribers.