Saturday, October 13, 2007

Movie Maunderings

Warning: If you liked the movie Little Miss Sunshine, just skip this post. Go read some of the other posts listed to the left instead. We can't all agree on everything.

There's nothing like settling down with your teenagers for some family bonding/movie-watching time and right off the bat being treated to a scene where Grandpa is snorting cocaine. To add to our discomfiture, Theo said, "Oh, that's what that stuff is." Our brains did a double-take and Larry hit the pause button while shouting, "What?! Where have you seen it?!" Cool as a cucumber, that's my husband. Turns out that Theo had witnessed its use by some staff members at the Boy Scout camp where he worked last summer. How wholesome. I guess BSA figures that as long as the drug addicts aren't homosexual, it's okay. I can't believe we sent him there thinking that he'd be in a good environment. What with the smoking and the drinking and the drugs, Theo got a crash course in juvenile delinquency.

But, why, you are no doubt wondering, were we showing a movie involving cocaine to our kids in the first place? Let me say in our defense that we tend to rent older movies to watch with the kids, as we don't have time to review movies ourselves before we let them see it. However, I was willing to take a chance this one time and try Little Miss Sunshine, on the recommendation of a friend who apparently (it now occurs to me) has markedly different taste in movies than I do. She said it was hilariously funny. And to be fair, it is billed as a "madcap comedy" by Netflix. I don't know why. I think I've had dental cleanings that were funnier. Luckily, we only showed it to the teenagers. That saved us from having to explain (in the first 15 minutes) homosexuality, cocaine use, and certain colorful words to the 10 and 7 year olds. And it was funny only in the most obvious, lamest sort of way. Har, har, har - here's the alienated teenager. He's not talking to the family - isn't he a gas? Yuk, yuk - old granddad is doing drugs and swearing at the dinner table. What a character! Hee, hee - the cute 7-year-old has asked her uncle why he is in love with a guy. And let's make the father of the family the total loser, because heaven forbid there should be any strong father figures portrayed positively in the media.

I'm ranting - sorry. I'll stop. We've got The Purple Rose of Cairo coming next, and I'm sure we will enjoy it. Though it bothers me thinking how much better Diane Keaton would be in Mia Farrow's role. Unfortunately, Woody Allen kept writing roles that were perfect for Ms. Keaton long after she left him and he took up with Mia. The only role he wrote for Ms. Farrow was that last movie of his that she was in (name, name - I can't think of it), where you can tell he was starting to hate her, because he portrays her as completely passive-aggressive (come on, Liam Neeson was in it, too - what was the name?). But think about it - Crimes and Misdemeanors? Should have been Diane Keaton. That other one with William Hurt (my memory is really going here - was it called Alice?) - definitely should have been Diane Keaton.

I like Diane Keaton.

Larry's off at his Naval Reserve Drill this weekend and it is the last one! He retires at the end of the month (at the ripe old age of 40). I know that, standing at his retirement ceremony, I will have tears of joy in my eyes. And they won't be stemming from my pride in what he's done for our country or from my relief that we've made it all this way without a prolonged family separation. No, those tears will be the result of the happy thought (and I think any wife of a military retiree will agree with me here) of all that closet space that is going to open up once we can move all his uniforms into storage. Yes!

We took Larry out for his birthday (belated) last night and I decided to get dressed up - you know, nice slacks, high-heeled boots, new blouse. It felt great, and I was wondering why I didn't get dressed up more often, when somehow Brian (in true, 7-year-old-boy fashion) managed to execute some sort of weird maneuver in front of me which ended up getting the dirt from the bottom of his sneakers all over my nice new pants. And it wouldn't brush off. Serves me right for aspiring to look like a normal human being for once.

Time to stop ignoring the children. We still need to bake Larry's birthday cake. This birthday will go on record as the most drawn-out event in our family's history (well, second to the head lice infestation, anyway).


  1. Oh, boy, those Scouts, huh? You must have FLIPPED!

  2. OMG. You are not alone. One time I rented Eddie Murphy's 80's classic Coming to America. I didn't remember any bad parts and didn't look at the rating. We went out and my daughter dutifully called me and said, "Mom you got us and R rated movie!" That was after they watched it. Yikes.

    But honestly the only bad part and as my daughter explained to her younger brothers, that happens in Africa, were two topless servants at the beginning of the movie. Other than that it really is all PG. Yeah, my list of mothering mistakes grows...

  3. You are right. Little Miss Sunshine is not for kids. It is a constant battle to watch what the kids are watching and I don't trust just anyone's judgment as I am what my kids call "old fashioned". I resorted to having to watch all the movies before they did just to make sure they were "kid worthy" and not full of crap. Ugh.

  4. Little Miss Sunshine is DEFINITELY NOT a kids' movie. It is pretty disturbing, although I found it amusing (my sense of humour is a bit warped - I loved the scenes where they were pushing the van to go).
    I do find it a problem to know what movies are kid-appropriate and which are not. So many movies are PG or PG-13, but are full of violence that would scare my children senseless.

    Hope you had a great dinner out, even without nice new pants :)

    - Heidi

  5. I just did not get Little Miss Sunshine at all. I guess I got it, I just didn't think much of it.

    Going to try and get over here more often, enjoy your comments on Large Family Life blog.