It is at this point, when she withdraws into her own world of false expectations. This creates interpersonal conflict, as she needs her husband and son to return things back to the way they were. Yet, these transformations are not taking place and this frustrates her. (Schwary & Redford, 1980) (Floyd, 2008)

Cultural differences are occurring with the various generations having contrasting views about Buck's death and how to cope with these challenges. In case of Calvin and Beth, they feel that Conrad needs to take charge of his own life and stop feeling sorry for himself. This means that he must let go of the past and become more sociable in the process. (Schwary & Redford, 1980) (Floyd, 2008)

In the movie, this takes place with the frequent arguments between Conrad and Beth. Calvin is forced to referee and feels torn between the two sides. On one hand, he has a cultural connection with Beth and desperately wants Conrad to change. Yet, he also has the love that a father will have for his son by not wanting to lose him. These differences are illustrating contrasting culture views, in the way the various characters are interacting with each other. (Schwary & Redford, 1980) (Floyd, 2008)

As these differences continue to build, is the point the various parties will have contempt for each other. This takes place during Christmas, as Conrad argues with Beth and tells her how she never loved him. He points out how when he was in the hospital she never came to visit him. At which point, Conrad claims how she loved Buck more than him. Beth responds, by saying how Buck would have never been in that situation and he needs to stop feeling sorry for himself. As she really does love him; but Conrad is filled with sadness, anger and resentment (which makes him unable to see it). (Schwary & Redford, 1980) (Floyd, 2008)

This leads to a confrontation between: Calvin and Beth. He questions their love and wonders if she is capable of loving anyone at all. Stunned by these revelations, Beth leaves. This is because she feels a sense of betrayal and does not think that anybody feels or understands her pain. The contempt that occurs is the logical result of different challenges impacting the various personalities and their refusal to understand / work together in addressing them. This continues to build, until it leads to a final confrontation. It is at this point, when everyone will become more withdrawn and is left to start all over again. (Schwary & Redford, 1980) (Floyd, 2008)


The movie is a reflection of the challenges impacting different personalities. This occurs based upon a lack of communication and dealing with potential conflicts when they are small. An example of this occurred, recently when marriage was witnessed by me. The couple had been together for many years and was drifting apart. Instead of discussing what was happening, they fought constantly.

To lash out, the husband began having an affair and hid it from his wife for several months. Then, during a big argument, he told her that he was cheating on her. This resulted in their marriage ending and both picking up the pieces of their lives. These issues are illustrating how interpersonal conflict, cultural differences and contempt for each other are leading to negative consequences. As all parties are hurt and feel a sense of betrayal from not having the other person understand them or have a sense of empathy for their situation.


Floyd, K. (2008). Interpersonal Communication: The Whole Story. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Schwary, R. (Producer) &…