I’m overjoyed that my son is old enough for a movie theater and can now be my movie buddy. However, it’s a gamble taking him to a flick because his track record for sitting through an entire movie is spotty at best. Now it’s one thing if we leave halfway through Hotel For Dogs or G-Force. But you want to leave in the middle of a Pixar movie and you and me got problems, mister. (Halfway through Up, we had problems.)
I’m not one who feels like he’s being forced into sitting through the latest cartoon flick. I have been going to animated movies long before I had kids. When I first saw the trailer for Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs months ago, I knew I wanted to see it. I also wanted to share it with the Bean. But I didn’t want to have to bail on it before it was over. So I began working on a plan to insure against such a thing.
I first obtained a copy of the classic book on which the movie is based. The Bean was pretty much hooked from the moment the pancake landed on the boy’s head until the kids went outside to play with their grandfather in the snow. Along the way, I also rediscovered my own memories of the book, buried under each page. When it was finished, he asked me to read it again. And again. And yet again.
Next, I plopped him on my lap in front of my computer and downloaded the trailer. He giggled softly as the glorious HD picture flickered in his eyes. It wasn’t long before he was reciting one of the lines from the trailer. It became his most requested video, for a while replacing the elephant jumping on a trampoline.
My plan was working. The Bean soon began asking to see the movie. Because he lives in an on-demand world of Tivo’d shows and DVDs, he couldn’t wrap his little mind around the fact that we still had to wait a month before we could see it. A few weeks later, when we drove past a billboard for the flick, the Bean pointed it out and I knew he was ready.
Opening weekend finally arrived. WonderWife™ had never taken the Bean to a movie, and she knew that her taking him instead of me wasn’t an option, so with Sprout being looked after by a babysitter, the three of us went to a matinee.
An hour and a half later, the credits rolled and we were all still in our seats.
I’m not sure I could tell you who enjoyed the movie the most. It had been a while since I had seen a movie in the theater with WW™ and I had forgotten how wonderfully boisterous her laugh could be. True to form, the Bean loved all of the broad physical comedy. I appreciated how sly and subversive it was. The movie never pandered. It didn’t force pop culture references down our throats. It merely entertained each of us, thoroughly.
For the past few days, in between talking like a pirate and tormenting the cats, the Bean will reference a scene from the movie. Every time, I’m more than happy to indulge my movie buddy and talk about it with him.