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Posts Tagged ‘family film’

Go ahead and laugh–I freaking love Mrs. Doubtfire. This was a movie I watched endlessly when I was unemployed–actually, I still continue to watch it.

Mrs. Doubtfire rules all

What's up, $5 bin at Walmart?

In case you’ve lived under a rock since the 1990s, Mrs. Doubtfire is family comedy from the mid 90s (don’t know the exact year, I’m guessing around 93 or 94, but I’m too lazy to search it). It stars Robin Williams, who generally annoys the hell out of me when he acts like he’s on speed. Damn cokehead. Sally Field is also in it, as well as Joey Lawrence’s one brother (WHOA!) and the little girl who plays Matilda in Matilda (hey, I’ve been watching this movie since I was like 10, and that’s who those people will always be to me).

Anyway, Robin Williams’ character and his wife separate and divorce. With limited custody with his kids, he dresses up like an elderly woman (Mrs. Doubtfire) so he can secretly be their nanny. Robin Williams as a woman? You know hijinx will ensue.

It’s a ridiculous little plotline, but people have a soft spot for movies with cross-dressing. But here’s what I remember as a kid: it was the first time, that I recall in a movie, that made divorce accessible to kids. My parents somehow (for some reason) remained married, but this was happening in the midst of marriages ending amongst my peers. My parents were talking about divorce at the time, though, and even though hearing that word was scarying, seeing the ending of this movie made me smile.

Two (ok, three) facts related to this movie:

Hellloooooooo!
Me at 9 AM: “Hellloooooooo Jennifer!”

1. I love saying “Hellllloooooooo!” a la Mrs. Doubtfire to my one coworker in the morning when I walk in the door.
2. I thought the song “Dude Looks Like a Lady” was called “Do the Soccer Lady.”
3. This movie is great background noise when you are pre-occupied with somethign else.

So if you haven’t see it, check it out… I think it’s rated PG, which makes it a nice watch for kids who are a little too grown up for animated movies, yet still want to see something lighthearted.

Best Served With: Hot dogs, mac and cheese, and ice cream… kids movie food, woot!

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Okay, I say this with absolutely no snark or sarcasm–Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is one of my favourite movies of all time.

It’s sometimes difficult for me not to intellectualize things. A golden tickets is not a metaphor for human’s self-actualization. A golden ticket is what every kid (and most adults) desire–a trip to a candy factory and a lifetime’s supply of chocolate. Hell yes.

For those of you who have internet access and have NOT seen Willy Wonka… well, here’s your very very brief overview. A chocolatier opens up his super secret factory to people who find a winning game piece in their candy bars. The prize for this contest? A lifetime’s supply of chocolate! Insert Charlie. Hardworking Charlie is living in poverty with his four bedridden grandparents (who all sleep in the same bed. Kinky!) and his underemployed mom. They eat cabbage water pretty much every night, which makes me wonder how bad that bed smells with those old people shitting in it. Anyway, guess who finds a ticket? Oh, you know who. And four little spoiled brats find winning tickets, too. The candy factory turns out to be fascinating to all the senses, with Willy Wonka being a crazy ass business owner… all with some catchy music!

It is considered a musical, so beware if you aren’t into that scene (though you probably have heard these songs before, unless you are living under a rock that does not get cable). The child actors do a great job as little shit heads. The only big names (that I’m aware of, at least) are Gene Wilder and Jack Albertson. Gene Wilder does an awesome job at being crazy. Take note that this is not the 2005ish (or so) version starring Johnny Depp called Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is a bit closer to the book by Roald Dahl (he also wrote Matilda, which I just might review some day). I think half the reason why I like Willy Wonka is because it’s a childhood thing. We had a copy on VHS, and I still remember the white boxboard case with what looked like Wonka juggling the characters and stuff. It’s a great little family movie.

Even trying not to intellectualize it (and trying not to give away the plot, which is difficult, because it’s goddamn Willy Wonka!!!!), it’s still nice to think that in the world, good will prevail. The other little shits who got the golden tickets were already well off. Poor Charlie had nothing… I mean, a loaf of bread looked like a freaking feast to them. Greed, gluttony… that shit gets nowhere, and it led the kids to their demise. I like to think of karma, even if it isn’t that instantaneous. I like to think of the lessons I have learned as an unemployed worker. I like to think (even though some days, it’s very difficult) that if I release positivity into the world, that somehow… it will come back to me. I like to think that those who have treated others like shit (former supervisor, I’m talking about you) will not have horribleness handed to them, but just won’t be as flowing in the positive energy as those they have hurt.

Open thoughts about this movie, though:

1. How did Mr. Jopeck know Grandpa Joe if Grandpa Joe never left the house?
2. Who bought Grandpa Joe’s tobacco? In fact, where did he get money for it?
3. How did “Slugworth” enter the factory… if nobody ever goes in, and nobody ever comes out? Did he live with the freaking Oompa Loompas?
4. Why didn’t the grandparents ever leave their bed? I like to think that they lost their jobs and were incredibly depressed and just couldn’t gather the energy to be productive (oh jobless, you know what I mean).
5. In this version, where’s Charlie’s dad? (I do like how he loses his job in the new movie!)

If you haven’t seen this movie, check it out, because you are missing an imperative part of pop culture. If you have seen it, watch it again. It’s often on cable (at least, it used to be on cable a lot), many libraries offer it, and it’s currently on Netflix streaming. Just try not to have a freak out during that crazy psychedelic scene, alright?

Recommended Viewing Setting: In bed, with many other people.

Recommended Viewing Snacks: Cabbage water (again!); fizzy lifting drinks (aka soda… and if you want some extra lift, I suggest cheap liquor); TV dinners (the cheaper and more 70s–high sodium/mystery meat, the better); nuts; tomato soup, roast beef, basked potato (with sour cream!), and blueberry pie; snozzberry ice cream. Oh, and chocolate. 😉

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