Five Scenes from Kramer vs. Kramer that Taught Us All About Love and Family

The connections we get from watching movies are unparalleled. A movie could have been released more than four decades ago, but the impact it can have can last a lifetime. One of the most memorable family dramas of the late 1970’s is Kramer vs. Kramer. The film follows the impending divorce of Ted Kramer, portrayed by Dustin Hoffman (Tootsie) and Joanna Kramer, portrayed by Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada). It explores the consequences of divorce, most especially to children, and it also covers the psychological implications it can have on all members of the family. The film also tackles a number of social issues that are still remain relevant up to this day. This includes the role of single parents, the rights of a separated couple, and the pursuit for work-life balance. Life after divorce is never easy. The trauma it brings always stays with you, and the after effects are definitely life-altering. The movie was able to impart a bunch of lessons that speak volumes about relationships. Here are five scenes from Kramer vs. Kramer that taught us all about love and family:

5. The one where Ted first makes French Toast

The breakfast scene where Ted attempts to prepare French Toast for his son, Billy, portrayed by Justin Henry (Sixteen Candles), since Joanna leaves them after revealing that she cannot take her life with Ted anymore. It was heartbreaking to see Ted struggling to make everything seem normal for Billy, and to not let him get too affected with Joanna’s abandonment. Ted was so focused in being the breadwinner for his family, and taking on the role of both father and mother was starting to feel overwhelming. This feeling was portrayed in this scene, as he tried his best to come up with a decent French Toast while his whole world was falling apart. At the end of the day, parents just want what’s best for their kids, and would rather carry the weight of the world on their own.

4. The one when Billy acts out

The scene where Billy refuses to eat dinner, and goes against his father’s wishes by eating ice cream instead is one of the memorable scenes in the film. Billy starts to act out after feeling the aftershocks of missing his mother. Kids, no matter how mature they seem, are the most hurt whenever their parents fight or go through divorce. Billy is at an age where he still cannot fully understand why his mother left them. His mixed emotions probably caused him to act out and rebel. It was also a cry for help, and a way to catch his father’s attention. It’s heartbreaking to see an innocent child hurting because of his parents. This is why it is so important to think twice before making major life decisions, and to always consider the consequences of your actions.

3. The one where Joanna wants Billy back

The scene where Joanna finally reappears and agrees to meet up with Ted was off to a good start until Joanna mentions that she wants Billy to be under her care. This naturally sends Ted into a public rampage. It was wrong for him to get physical, but it only was only triggered by intense emotions brought by the thought of losing Billy. Parents must take it upon them to make sure that they part ways amicably, if a divorce is the only option. The transition from a complete family to single parenthood is a major change in one’s way of life. Decisions must be made carefully, and all parties must work together to make the shift as seamless as possible.

2. The one with the court scene

The poignant scene set in court where Ted’s lawyer questions Joanna about her capacity as a wife and mother was raw and emotional. The questions asked put Joanna in a bad light, and it was evident that this was not Ted’s intention. He still cares for Joanna and their family even after all that has happened. When a divorce battle rears its ugly head, nobody really winds in the end. No party comes out unscathed, and there is no relationship that ends up undamaged. Joanna and Ted are two good people, who just ended up in a bad place. They had the best intentions at heart for Billy, and ultimately just want what’s best for him. The long and arduous battle between couples can be simpler if both learn to cooperate and sacrifice for the betterment of their family.

1. The one where Ted says goodbye to Billy

The touching scene when Ted has a change of heart, and agrees for Billy to go with Joanna shows his character development throughout the film. Although it rips his heart into pieces, he gives way to Joanna, and allows Billy the chance to be with his mother. It’s impossible not to get through this scene and not shed a tear. Billy is also heartbroken about Ted’s decision, as he feels torn about leaving his dad, who he has already formed a close bond with. The scene afterwards is the big plot twist of the movie. Joanna informs Ted that she has thought about the situation, and would want Billy to continue living with Ted instead. It was a beautiful and bittersweet moment that signified the fresh start of their new lives apart. The scene also reflected the characters’ growth, as they try to become better versions of themselves, and allow time to heal past wounds.

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