The Summer Movie Program

Currently, I am sitting on my hammock, in my backyard, talking to my phone, locked out of my house. This is not a common occurrence in my life. I usually have my keys on me at all times when out of doors.

It just so happened that Sarah’s roommate from college was in town and wanted to meet with Sarah at a local park as she was traveling through town on a trip from California to Utah. Because of our time schedules, Sarah needed the keys in order to get into the house while I took my children and my nephew’s to The Reel Theater to watch a kitty movie as part of the local summer program.

I have fond memories of going to the movie theater as a child with my mom during the summer. I think it was the summer trips to the movie theater with my mom and siblings that harbored my fascination and infatuation with film.

It was from this early age that I developed my love for the movies. Strange enough this is a love that my wife does not share with me she would rather be doing something constructive than sitting down and watching a film. If Sarah had any faults ( which she doesn’t) I would chalk this up as one of them.

The summer movie programs that the Reel Theater does in my community allows me to have shared relationships and, even more important, shared narratives with my children to laugh about and discuss later on. Some of my greatest bonding moments with my children, especially my boys as Sarahmay is still pretty young, have been discussions about stories and characters they have encountered through film.

But today, I experienced something new at the movie theater, something I would accuse an older person of having done.

I fell asleep.

Yes, I fell asleep. There are many reasons for my altered state of consciousness in the theater this afternoon.

One is that I was not really interested in the story the film was trying to tell. We watched The Wild Life, a Robinson Caruso narrative as told from a parrot’s perspective (laughingly named Tuesday, the comparative character of Robinson crusoe’s Friday) and design to peak the interest of little children in the castaway narrative.

Before I give my scathing review, you must know that I am not a movie critic but a literature guy, and I spend most of my time discussing the great works of literature. And as Sarah often reminds me, informing people against their will. I found the movie somewhat Hollow perfect for little children as it was unbelievably benign find making the villains a group of frisky feline Avengers and the native animals unlikely Heroes. Where Robinson Crusoe fit in or Crusoe as he was called was a bumbling human trapped on an island unsuited in every way to survive. This kind of fantasy fits with most childhood narratives where the animal world is a nice place set out to help the hapless human being survive insurmountable odds.

My major concern with the story was that there was no real thematic motive for any of the actions of the characters except for Caruso’s desire to survive.

But frankly, the film lost me at the opening sequence. The fact is that I’m getting old and when my body finds a comfortable place it falls asleep.  I should not be too hard on the film.  My children enjoyed it. I have been known to enjoy extremely boring films. What surprised me was how easily I fell asleep in the theater. There I was, alone, with six children, three of them not mine, and I am out for the count, sawing logs, completely unaware of my surroundings, just enjoying the dark and cool of the movie theater.


I do admit the best part of the entire film was the end credits. As these credit started rolling, Sarahmay got up and went to the front of the theater and danced to the snapping music for everyone. That little, four year-old girl can dance. Eventually, little girls went down and danced with her.

I have much to thank the Reel Theater and my mother for. The summer film program has offered me yet one more awesome memory.

Oh yeah, Sarah eventually came home with the keys. She called me up and asked if I would open the front door because it was locked. I told her I would if I could but I was locked out and sitting in the hammock in the backyard. She remembered that she had the keys and let me in. Happily ever after.


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