I rented Manhood a couple of weeks ago, on your recommendation, and I watched it twice.
The first time through, I thought to myself, this writer really understands men - the male pysche in several permutations - Jack, the boys, the bro-in-law.
The second time through I really appreciated the actor's work. They were so subtle and natural it just made this story so personal and affecting.
The direction was also so unobtrusive it just drew me in deeper second by second. Very impressive.
I agree about the therapist's behavior. That seemed the one false note in this story. So cliche, even though it was important that Jack be seeing a therapist. And it was also a key point that he had a conflict with her.
I think that was the point where he realized that he was only still seeing her from habit, not from any real need. Not to say there wasn't a need at one time; there was a real need, a need to heal and recover, but Jack had grown incredibly by that point and didn't realize it until he walked out of that office.
It's a powerful moment, a real triumph, but the details of the conflict still seem off-key, out of tune with the sublety of this story. I just wish it would have been handled differently.
As I think of this story I am reminded of what Derek Luke said in an interview about playing Antwoine Fisher;
"I was in tears and the thing about the tears was that there was healing going on. That's why I wanted to do this>
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.