Gnomeo and Juliet

Picture 13
We were given passes to go see a pre-screening of Gnomeo and Juliet this past Saturday. It opens in theaters tomorrow (Feb 11) so now you know in case you were wondering. First off, a trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/e/uXyT9tlQ9Pc

Secondly, some thoughts. I’ve been hearing some critiques around the internet on how in the world could they take a classic tragic story and give it a Disney-esque spin? My answer to that is simply to say that you’ll have to trust me when I say they were true to the traditional ending of the story AND the traditional tied-up-with-a-pretty-bow happy ending.

Scratching your head on how? I’d love to spill the beans on that, but I think I’d better wait a bit. I don’t want to spoil it for you if you are planning to go see the movie.

So I have some yays and nays about the movie.

Yays:

It’s cute. The story is interesting in that most of us (older set) are really familiar with Romeo and Juliet already, so to see it get spun this way with garden gnomes was actually fairly clever.

I appreciated the way Gnomeo and Juliet met each other and the confusion they felt when they later discovered who they really were and then had to reconcile if their color really was who they were or not.

Nays:

The filming was too dark. I don’t mean dark in a mysterious kind of way, but a “can you even see that?” on the screen kind of way. At first I thought they were just trying to make us believe it was night time in the backyard, but they never lightened it up for those scenes and it was a pretty big distraction.

There were several moments of inappropriate inclusions that were simply not necessary for the story. We’re not too terribly picky about what gets included in movies for kids usually, but there is a line we have and I think this movie crossed it.

The 3D nature of this movie does nothing for it. If given a choice, don’t bother with the 3D.

 Back to Yays:

They did bring in William Shakespeare in the movie and it didn’t seem forced to me. I was glad he was included and for what he contributed to this version of the story.

So there you have it. Gnomeo and Juliet in a nutshell. If you end up seeing it this weekend or later, please come back and tell me what you thought. I’d love to discuss it with someone else.

 

The Best Thing

Picture 11 I just wrote about the best thing to ever happen to Craig for his birthday over at WORLDMag.com.

Hint: It has something to do with a certain 9yo in our house.

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This past Saturday my husband turned 40. For his birthday we drove through the latest St. Louis snowstorm to a pre-screening of Gnomeo and Juliet. Sounds like a great way to spend your 40th birthday, right? In Craig’s case it totally makes sense because it wasn’t just his birthday, it was our third daughter’s 9th birthday as well, and she was thrilled to see a movie in a theater on her birthday.

Having Katie born on Craig’s birthday was the best thing to happen to him; he hates attention on his birthday and always has. When he turned 30, I threw a major surprise party for him that packed 60-plus people dressed in 1980’s garb into our small house. It was super fun and he really did enjoy it, but when it was over he gently asked me not to ever do it again. I promised I wouldn’t. Katie was born on his birthday the following year and ever since, the birthday focus has been on her, which is just the way he likes it.

Anyway, my younger two girls and I attend Classical Conversations one day a week, and each week every child gets to practice public speaking by giving a presentation to his or her class. As the director checking in on the morning’s classes, I happened to walk into Katie’s class right when she was giving her presentation and just in time to hear her explain to her class how her birthday was on Saturday.

Katie showed them one of the gifts she received and explained how she shares her special day with her dad. I then heard her pronounce confidently to the whole group, “My dad says I’m the best thing that ever happened to him on his birthday!” She was beaming as she said it, and she said it because she believes it. She believes it because she has full confidence in her father that he means what he says and she will always know in the core of her being that she really is the best thing that ever happened to him on his birthday.

Having daughters who know and feel secure in their position in the life of their dad is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. As much as I try and as much as I want to be an important influence in their lives, I simply can’t do it alone. I’m not at all saying Craig is a perfect dad. He makes mistakes just like the rest of us, but he is very intentional about investing relationally in the lives of our girls and they know that. I love that he is such a great influence in their lives, and I love that they rest in that.