DR. SOLOMON’S SECOND BOOK, VOLUME 2, ON THE SUBJECT OF CINEMATHERAPY®
Who needs a therapist’s couch when you can sit in the comfort of your living room and watch the movies recommended by Dr. Gary Solomon, America’s leading cinematherapist. In Reel Therapy, Dr. Solomon-The Movie Doctor®-prescribes specific movies for you to watch in order to help you deal with all of life’s emotional problems. From tearjerkers like Brian’s Song to dysfunctional family dramas like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Reel Therapy takes the reader on a therapeutic journey to the heart of cinema’s healing powers.
Complete with cast credits, movie reviews, and psychological analysis, Reel Therapy will help you enjoy film on a completely different level. So if you’re looking for an emotional escape or a few larger-than-life characters to empathize with, just pop in one of Dr. Solomon’s ‘prescriptions’ and take in what any given movie has to offer.
When I was a child there were some movies that touched me in a way that was different than all the westerns and war movies that were the popular cinematic features of the day. I liked movies that could make me feel things. Now, I didn't exactly know what my feelings were back then, but whatever was happening when I watched movies, I liked it. I found I was interested in biographies or real-life stories, which seemed more real to me. I liked hearing about people's lives, learning about their personal experiences, and sharing their emotions. The Great Houdini, The Thomas Edison Story, and The Benny Goodman Story all meant more to me than any action movie that everyone else was watching. I preferred movies that had a message, and when one of those movies came on the television, I got lost-lost in a world that protected me from the fear, pain, and abuse that were my constant reminders that life was not a happy place to be. I struggled my way through, hated my way through school! I didn't learn to read or write until I was twelve.
In those days schools just passed kids like me along to the next grade; I simply became the next teacher's problem. It wasn't a very happy time, but I had my movies and eventually my music, so nothing else mattered. Even though I quit high school to go on the road with a rock band, by some miracle I learned to read and write, and eventually I graduated high school with my class. And somehow, some way, after two junior colleges and a state college, I made my way to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) where I entered into the Department of Psychology. I wrote my papers, took my tests (went to the ever-popular war protests to meet girls), and struggled to pass my classes. Come hell or high water, I was going to get that piece of paper that everyone said would never be mine.
No matter what was going on in my life, my interest in movies was never far behind. It was the late sixties, times were changing, and so were the movies. I got entrenched in Easy Rider, especially the message it sent about drugs and the evil that drugs bring to anyone who sells or uses them. I got buried in Clockwork Orange, particularly the society in chaos portrayed in that movie. How could we evolve into such a negative, violent world? Surely Vietnam and the Beatles hadn't brought us to that point. My experience with movies kept calling me to watch more and more stories with special messages. I would go out on a date and take whomever I was seeing at the time to a movie. Afterwards we would sit and talk for hours about the movie's message. I learned that movies broke the ice on a date and also released the real me that was hiding inside. What was even better was that my dates and my new friends felt the same way.