So! We’re back from a trip to Southern Ontario to see the folks, and it went…well. Everyone behaved – adults and children alike. As it turned out, being around extended family and eating my own weight in cookies was all I needed to finally feel a small spark of Christmas spirit.
And they said her heart grew three sizes that day! Well, either her heart or her butt. Six of one.
The lowest point for me, actually, came when we were talking to the Captain about New Year’s Eve, and how the year would be changing from 2010 to 2011 that night. And he shouted out, “And then, we’ll GET SMURFED!” I just about had a heart attack caused by the Evils Of Marketing, like, the next Iron Man movie should totally have him battling advertising execs and their ability to use trailers to convince seven-year-olds that a Smurf movie is a really good idea. EVIL.
(Also in contention for the lowest point: when the Captain asked me what F-U-C-K means while we were stopped at a gas station on the way home. I’m sure Sir Monkeypants had some idea of what was about to happen when he oh-so-graciously offered to pump. Good parenting: it’s all about the timing!)
We also saw some commercials over the holidays for the new Yogi Bear movie, also known as The End Of Everything That is Civilized in This World. The kids thought it looked interesting but I had to give them the smackdown. Any movie that combines animation with humans is to be feared, feared with all your soul. That includes that Jessica Rabbit movie and anything starring Shaq. ESPECIALLY anything starring Shaq.
Later over the holidays, we were watching Step Up 2: The Streets on TV with my teenaged niece and nephew. The movie was actually my own recommendation, as I’d watched it back in the fall and found the dancing fantastic, the acting tolerable, and the storyline ridiculous but not totally incredible, and so, that all adds up to INSTANT CLASSIC. Word of warning, though, I did find myself laughing uproariously at Date Night when we watched it two weeks ago, so my tastes in movies may be a weensy bit less discriminating than when I reviewed movies semi-professionally. Just saying.
(Instant-side-review: The dancing in the original Step Up does not even come close to its sequel, although, it did produce the immortal and quotable line, “For Skinny [fist bop]“. It’s become a family battle cry.)
Anyway, my niece Red was saying that she had gone to see Step Up 3D in the summer with her mom, my sister SocialButterfly. Red said that she had really enjoyed it, but SocialButterfly thought it was stupid, therefore, the official verdict was stupid, but secretly Red still thought it was great. And then I thought, who am I to be slamming the Smurfs movie, when maybe the kids will think it is amazing?
Although, I would have to think less of them. My own Date Night reaction notwithstanding.
So THEN, on the way home we stopped by my other sister’s house, LittleSis, and she gifted the kids a copy of Alvin and the Chipmunks, which as you may know, mixes animation and live action in a dangerous fashion, in addition to co-opting a classic cartoon in a way that is just wrong, wrong, wrong. But we have a DVD player in the car, and it was going to be a five hour drive home, so we figured, what the heck, let’s pop it in.
And damn, if those kids didn’t think it was the funniest thing ever. The peals of laughter from the backseat were only interrupted by the occasional head bopping to the tunage. They occasionally had to talk over the movie to quote to each other lines from the very movie they were watching. Even now I can completely crack them up by shouting, “Dirty underwear!” at them.
It was like their own personal Star Wars experience. Years from now we will see them making YouTube videos of themselves in costume singing The Christmas Song, or worse, dropping thousands of dollars on “authentic” Alvin merchandise. YIPES.
So to sum up, marketing is evil, mixing cartoons with live action is evil, Date Night is potentially evil, and I know nothing about the minds of six and seven year olds. For Skinny!