Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Plan for Meatballs

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.


Eric said...

Superbowl last year. My daughter (2 and a half at the time) saw commercial for Wall-E. She fell in love with it. So I planned to take her to her first movie when it came out. We did the same thing. We watched trailers. We had a great time. And a year later, she still talks about it when we pass the theatre.

Glad you had a great time.. He's going to remember it for a long time.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I still haven't seen it! I think this weekend its matinee time for us also :)

I've never even thought of subliminal messaging them before hand to get them to be in love with it before actually seeing the movie! That's genius!

(But isn't that what we pay the movie marketers to do for us?) Lol

ZenMom said...

Yay! Great job, Dad. So glad you all got to have a good time together! We are looking forward to seeing Meatballs in the theater, too. ;)

SciFi Dad said...

That's awesome.

My daughter has already earmarked The Princess and the Frog (December) for her first flick. No word yet on who gets to take her.

Your escalator operator said...

Must have been very cool. Glad everyone had so much fun.

BigLittleWolf said...

I do remember those days! (They aren't that far back.)Great post - way to go!

And hey - did you find any gum?

Vancetastic said...

Between being out of town this past weekend and this coming weekend, I'm concerned Cloudy might slip through the cracks. I'll try to keep it from doing so.

(As the only non-parent here, I think it's only appropriate that I comment only on the movie aspect of this post. Especially appropriate since I'm also a film blogger. But no, I won't inflict my URL on you all.)

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Eric...Wall-E is one of the many movies the Bean has not sat through. Thankfully it was on DVD and I had already seen it.

Shelle...How do you think I got WonderWife™ to watch "True Blood"?

Zen...Let me know what you think when you see it.

SciFi...My niece has gone into full Princess & Frog mode too.

YEO...I've now seen two movies in the theater with my wife this year. That's gotta be some kinda record.

Big...Yes I did. I'm chewing it right now. (Everyone else is confused).

Vance...I'll pimp out your site here:

urbandaddy said...

Good suggestion to see if they are ready... I'm dying to take my 4 (almost 5) yr old to a movie but have no idea how he'll react. I've taken him to indoor lacrosse games and they mostly keep his attention - or was that the loud music, candy and cheerleaders...

Daddy Geek Boy said...

UrbanDaddy...I'd say start off with a movie that you'd be okay if you had to walk out. But all of the 4 and 5 year olds that I know usually sit through movies they're in to. Good luck.

Blogging Mama Andrea said...

My son read this in his class this week and the school arranged for the kids to get the theater to themselves for a showing tomorrow night. I don't think we are going but it does look like a cute movie.

Our first was the Heffalumps movie. We did better with our second outing when we saw Curious George - he actually watched the screen that time.

Emma said...

what a cute story!!

I'm glad it worked out for you!!