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Labor Day: Not so spectacular

Art on photo by Calita Hin

The Film

Labor Day is a heartfelt movie with a grown-up star-crossed love. However, there is nothing incredibly spectacular about it. The movie is slightly hard to get into at first; mostly because of the narration and long explanation at the beginning that I feel could be cut shorter.

As the movie continues we are introduced to the kind of reclusive life that Henry (the narrator) leads because of his mother’s agoraphobia and depression after her divorce and inability to bear more children. Kate Winslet, who plays the mother, Adele, did well in portraying the heart-broken women who tried her best to raise her son.


One day on a rare visit to the store, Frank introduces himself to Henry and Adele and has them take him to their house. Here he reveals how he escaped from prison after being charged with murder. The rest of the movie follows the relationship between the three of them as they all try to figure out the next step and how to move on from hurtful pasts.

The movie is kind of heavy and deals with issues such as infertility, death, and depression. The feel-good ending is preceded by a lot of tears, or at least it was in my case.

Despite the lack of a "wow factor" and the awkward script, the movie is definitely still worth watching. The story is interesting and the cinematography and overall mood of the film was eye candy. If you're looking for a movie to watch alone on a rainy day you can find it on Netflix!

The Book

Labor Day is Joyce Maynard’s sixth fiction book and arguably the most popular. It, like its movie adaptation, follows the relationship between Adele, Henry, and Frank while they try to figure out the past and the future.


I think the book was mediocre, but I couldn’t seem to get past the characters; they seemed forced and slightly unrealistic. Adele allows a man into her car and home without hesitation or information about him. Henry speaks in a sophisticated way that makes him sound much older than thirteen and that makes me wish I could have his thoughts for my English papers. I believe that Maynard could’ve added a little more depth to the story if the characters were more believable.

Another thing that slightly took away from the book was the style of dialogue (the kind with a lack of quotation marks). I struggled to understand what was being spoken vs. thought and this took my attention away from the plot.

Despite these two things, it was a fairly good book. It is a short read, my version was only 250 pages, and kept my attention pretty well. It was sad and heavy at parts but had enough good to balance it out. I recommend it, especially if you are a sucker for star-crossed loves.


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