We passed a milestone in parent-child relations a couple weeks ago: Kate and I saw a non-animated movie we both enjoyed pretty much equally. It was “The Last Mimzy,” and I have to specify “non-animated” because the Pixar and Wallace & Gromit movies live in a class by themselves. But they only make one or two of those a year, and in between we have lots of weekends and school holidays to fill with moviegoing.
“The Last Mimzy” seduced me in spite of being science fiction, not one of my favorite genres. It was probably the Buddhism themes, that and Rainn Wilson. And while no one would mistake it for “The Departed,” it was no “Princess Diaries,” either.
So, heartened, I’m looking for our next mother-daughter movie date, and am sticking a tentative toe into PG-13 territory. “Dreamgirls” was PG-13, and wonder of wonders, all the sexual references were couched in language that flew miles over the head of my 10-year-old: “You’re knocking off the skinny piece,” in fact, may fly over the heads of many mothers of 10-year-olds. But PG-13 is the realm of the snickering adolescent, and I have to be wary.
I want to take her to see “Year of the Dog,” but I’m wondering at the rating. The reviews are little help (“suggestive references” is all I can find), and there’s no review yet on Common Sense Media, which sounds like it should be one of those sorts of websites, but isn’t. Very …commonsensical, in fact.
Any suggestions for cinematic entertainment as we explore the vast wastelands of Tweendom? You know where to leave ’em.
Have to cut this short today. It’s perfect bike-riding weather, and have a lot to do before heading out to Ann Arbor, where Miss Laura Lippman is reading at a bookstore in my old neighborhood. I get to buy her NYT best-seller, “What the Dead Know,” and perhaps have dinner with her — aren’t you terribly, terribly jealous? (You should be — I’m thinking we might eat at Zingerman’s.)
Why Jon Carroll is always worth reading:
The tragedy at Virginia Tech this week has provoked lots of deep thinking about What It All Means, because when you’ve got endless airtime to fill, deep thinking is the only alternative to replaying the same five minutes of videotape you’ve played 28 times before. And newspaper columnists have of course weighed in, because we are the world’s leading experts on the Meaning of Everything. We are the FIGJAMs. (“Figjam” is allegedly a nickname given to professional golfer Phil Mickelson by his peers. It stands for “f — I’m good, just ask me.”)
Figjams — I love it.
Alicublog makes a good point: If the Virginia Tech shootings cannot be blamed on guns, well, they can’t be blamed on words and pixels, either.
Fifty-one degrees! Hosanna. I’m out.
Ann said on April 19, 2007 at 10:57 am
I loved The Namesake and think it might work well as a mother-daughter movie. the review at http://www.kids-in-mind.com/n/namesake.htm is pretty accurate, but I’d add that what sex and violence there are in the movie are both very fleeting.
Lance said on April 19, 2007 at 12:49 pm
There was a review of Year of the Dog on Slate last week.
Hope that helps.
Brenda said on April 23, 2007 at 10:37 pm
I also have a 10-year-old daughter and can give you lots of suggestions for movies we’ve seen together that were appropriate for her and didn’t put me to sleep. We’re also starting to dip toes into the PG-13 waters. Many of these were in the theater a year or two ago, so are now on DVD:
“Akeelah & the Bee.” It’s PG. nice story of a kid trying to get into the national spelling bee
“Bend It Like Beckham.” PG-13. (some references to lesbianism, but nothing by daughter didn’t already know. great tale of a girl working hard to make it in soccer)
“Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” PG-13. (the references to a girl losing her virginity went over my daughter’s head, who thought they were talking about kissing a boy)
“Glory Road.” PG. True story from the 1960s of the first black college basketball team. (includes use of “N” word, but it allowed my daughter and I to talk about why that is wrong, and we discussed civil rights – great history lesson movie)
“We Are Marshall.” PG-13. true story of how the West Virginia college coped after its entire football team was killed in a plane crash.
the one movie that we saw together that maybe we shouldn’t have was “Grease.” She loved “High School Musical” and I wanted to show her a musical from my time. It’s PG, but that’s only because PG-13 didn’t exist then. Loads of sexual references! But, she loved the music
Jonathan Arnold said on April 24, 2007 at 11:40 am
A couple of slightly off beat suggestions:
1] I watched “O Brother Where Art Thou” with my six year old daughter one evening. She really enjoyed it, as some of the humor hit home and the music is great. All of the innuendo went over her head, but even then I didn’t think it was too much. We didn’t make it to the end, so perhaps the traumatic flood scene might be too much, but I don’t think so.
2] The Secret of Roan Inish – both my girls (7 & 6) and I loved this movie. I’m a huge John Sayles fan, so it was a no-brainer for me.