“I’m in heaven,” I told AK yesterday.
We’d just sat down in creaky-springed seats near the back row at Highland Theatre to see a matinee of Inside Out. Dash was already getting sleepy in his carrier (see previous post re: bringing infants to the movies). There was a cardboard tray of popcorn and a mini bag of M&Ms next to me, because we’d just discovered that while a small drink and small popcorn cost $10, a kid’s combo containing the same items plus M&Ms only cost $6 (and you didn’t have to be a kid to order it). It was all of my favorite things.
|Joy and Sadness ponder a memory.|
|Guess who's manning the controls in my head.|
I think he missed that it’s first and foremost a coming-of-age movie, and that being eleven is a fairly universal problem. And just because Reason isn’t a character doesn’t mean it’s totally devalued. There’s a spot-on moment when Joy opens a box on the Train of Thought and a jumble of what look like mahjong tiles falls out.
“These are Facts, but they’re all mixed up with Opinions,” she laments.
Inside Out is an imaginative, funny, sweet movie, one that could, I think, actually act as a non-didactic guidepost for kids trying to understand adolescence, if not Anthony Lane. The animation and landscapes aren’t quite as fanciful as, say, The Lego Movie, but they get the job done.
|Riley on the ice.|
Shortly after their move, Riley’s mom muses that she (Riley) is the one thing making her father happy right now. Later, her parents wonder “What happened to our happy girl?”
This is a bit of a soapbox of mine: When parents say “I just want you to be happy,” they’re not always doing kids a favor. Sure, it’s better than pressuring a kid to become a doctor or to marry Jewish or whatever, but happiness is actually a huge demand. When kids feel responsible for their parents’ emotional well being, they can crumble under the pressure, as Riley nearly does.
|Happy baby pose.|
But that doesn’t mean he’ll always be happy, or that he has a responsibility to be. AK and I can rejoice in his happiness without making it an obligation. He is entitled to the full range of human emotion. As long as he becomes a cardiologist.