I am participating in National Blog Posting Month, NaBloPoMo, where I will be posting every day in the month of November.
My daughters were never very good at watching movies. N (age 8) is sensitive to loud noises and things that are scary, and so she was never interested in any of the animated Disney movies that most children love. TV shows were always fine, but to this day N has not made it through to the end of Finding Nemo, The Lion King, Up or The Incredibles. Don’t even mention Toy Story to her, because she will not even watch one minute of that movie. She did watch most of the princess stories, but only once or twice each, and recently she completely refused to try The Princess and the Frog when I rented it for my six-year-old when she was home sick one day.
The first movie I took N to see in the theater was Curious George. She was about four years old and started out very excited with her popcorn and drink. As the sounds of Jack Johnson permeated the theater and the gentle jungle scenes began, I settled back and thought that this movie would be just right for her. As the sounds got busier and louder though, N was leaning into me more and more. I asked if she wanted to sit on my lap, and yes, she did. About forty-five minutes in to the show, I could tell that she was petrified by the whole experience. We left. A kind manager at the theater even gave us our money back.
We didn’t go see any movies for a long while after that. A couple of years later though, Tony took both girls to see Ratatouille. I was at work that day but if I had been home, I would have tried to talk him out of it. I’m good that way. N hated it. B fell asleep. We stayed away from theaters for another couple of years, until we thought it was time to try again, and so we went to see Bolt. N is a mad crazy dog lover, and she actually liked this movie, but I‘m convinced it was only because the main character was a dog. Both girls were scared, but they made it through. I promptly bought them the DVD thinking finally there is a movie that they will watch again and again. Except they didn’t.
Nothing else piqued their interests until the Hannah Montana movie came out. They were seven and five by this time, and I was very unsure of whether they would pay attention through the whole movie or if they would be interested in it at all. The four of us went, so that one parent could take one child out if need be. About ten minutes into the movie, B whispered to me, “Mama, is it almost over?” My heart sank a little as I gently replied “No Sweetie, there is still a long way to go.” She grinned back at me and said that was great because she was really enjoying the show. Phew. Both girls liked it. Since then they have seen Ponyo, and more recently Ramona and Beezus. Other than that, almost no movies have interested them enough to bother trying to take them to the theater.
So when N said to us recently that almost all of her friends had seen Ghostbusters and that she wanted to watch it too, I was surprised. This movie was made in 1984 and so it is twenty-six (!) years old now. I saw that movie when I was 13 (ahem), and I remember being scared. Was there any possibility the girls would like it?
Tony started the movie for them one day while I was out of the house. He is good like that; he knew I would try to talk them out of watching it. And goodness, kids today are a lot more sophisticated than when I was a kid. They both thought it was hilarious, and neither of them were scared at all.
So I don’t know what to think now. I have zero ability to predict what movies my girls will like. I am grateful however that I don’t have to watch princess movies again and again, and Ramona and Beezus was a seriously good movie (plus it had Aidan from Sex and the City in it, Ladies!). I think that Tony and I liked it as much as the girls did, and that makes for a fun time for our whole family.