Saturday, June 28, 2008

Movie madness

Today, I did something very, very brave. I took both girls to the movies for the first time. Alone. Just me and them.

The film? The new Pixar flick Wall-E.

It all started when Peanut spotted a full-page ad in the newspaper last weekend.

"Oooooh, what's that?" she asked, tracing her fingers around the robot's sad little eyes.

"That's an ad for a new movie about a robot who falls in love. What do you think?"

"I think he is adorable. Can we rent it?"

I explained that it was only in the theaters right now, but we could rent it in a few months. But the Wall-E talk persisted, and soon Loaf joined in.

"Aw, look at dat little robot, Mom!" Loaf cooed, leaning over the ad to plant a smooshy kiss on Wall-E. "I wuv him."

Then all the five-star reviews started coming out, and my interest level went up quite a bit. They hadn't gone to the theater yet, and they can sit through a movie at home (mostly) so I figured why not? I searched the local theaters for a showing in the early afternoon, after lunch, figuring a matinee is bound to be full of kids and they'd do better on a nice, full tummy.

We reviewed movie rules:
1. No talking, and if you do talk, it has to be important and it has to be a whisper. We practiced whispering for good measure.
2. You must sit in your seat. No standing, no getting up and running around, no musical chairs. You sit. You watch.

"No talking, Mommy. Got it," Loaf proclaimed.

"We'll be good," promised Peanut.

So how'd it go? Let my lessons learned tell the rest of the story:

1. Perhaps, just perhaps, a movie about a robot with little to no dialogue and a sophisticated plot is not the best choice for the under five set. Next time, look for something with talking animals. Or princesses. Or both.

2. There is no way to entertain bored preschoolers in a dark theater. Except for snacks. But once they're gone? You're screwed.

3. Pointing to the screen and saying enthusiastically, "WOW! Look what Wall-E is doing!" only works once or twice. Especially when all Wall-E ever really does is roll around and squeak. After that, you start to take on a bit of the-boy-who-cried-wolf syndrome. And they know it.

4. A small three-year-old girl is not heavy enough to prevent a standard theater seat from folding up. Your right arm will cramp up and fall asleep holding the corner of it down for over two hours.

5. The rule about standing up and moving around will be quickly abandoned. The effectiveness of reminders and threats is inversely proportional to the child's boredom level. In other words, give it up and just be happy they're not talking. Or screaming.

6. Bored children like to sit in your lap.

7. Two children on your lap means you will not see large sections of the movie.

8. No matter how bad your kids are, someone else's will undoubtedly be worse. (I'm looking at you Mr. "NOOO MOMMY I HATE YOU YOU BIG TURD" from the back of theater. Thank you very much. You made me feel like Mom of The Year.)

9. Regardless of how bored your kids were, they will come home and tell you they loved the movie and ask if they can go see it again. (I think they just liked the snacks).

So have you seen it? Thoughts? I actually thought it was great. What I saw of it anyway.



Blogger Mayberry said...

If it rains tomorrow we're so there.

About the seat thing -- next time check if your theater has boosters. They help!

10:36 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

Yes... the boosters.... big big help.

I took Zoe to see Ratatoie (sp?) last year. We had watched the 9 minute preview that TiVo had available a million times and Zoe was hooked. The first actual scenes of the movie totally freaked her out though (old lady, shotgun, rats, thunder and lighting). She did sit for quite a while after she calmed down. We left about 30 before it was over though. She's had enough. I never did see the end until we bought the dvd.

I was thinking of trying Wall-e... but knowing about the lack of dialogue has changed my mind. I'll wait for something else.

FYI... the Madison theater offers a free movie thing. I think it's Thursday mornings at 10. I'm not positive. They play older movies that are already on dvd. But, it's free... so if you have to walk out you're not losing anything. Could be good practice.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Everyone is raving about it. We tried Bee Movie a while back and, well, we haven't tried again.

PS re your tweet, I hope you indulged and said swimsuit be damned.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Ah, but you were so brave to take them ;)

11:54 AM  
Blogger Kelley said...

I'm going to give you a tip for next time based on our first movie going experience with Lilli. Her first movie was Jonah, the Veggie Tales movie. We sat near the front of the stadium seating right behind the rail (I don't know if they're all like this). That row has some extra legroom and with the rail, she didn't fall on top of people. So she was able to stand, wiggle, and dance around without bothering anyone. Also, I second the recommendation of the boosters.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Rocas said...

My wife and I oh so remember all the very things that you listed here, and no matter what course was taken, it usually resulted in the same thing.

It would be years before she would ever go to a movie with me again.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Kimmylyn said...

My best friend took his daughter to see it.. and said for me to wait for it to come out on video because it was too long. Thanks for your review.. I have now confirmed that is what I am going to do!! :)

10:59 AM  

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