Saturday, May 17, 2014
I went to see this movie last night and I have to say that Christian movies are getting better. Often, I find faith-based movies to be a little on the cheesy side. I mean, I still watch them, but I always feel that Christian movies feel like they aren't really real movies. Does that even make sense? That's not the case with Moms' Night Out. This movie is quietly adorable without being heavy-handed in the faith department. I mean, it's not too preachy, but I can tell that these film makers walk a fine line between balancing faith while also keeping it mostly light and fun.
It's reminiscent of both Date Night (2010) and Adventures in Babysitting (1987) but Moms' Night Out suffers from a real lack of originality. Just watch the scene where Allyson almost loses it after the trendy restaurant doesn't have her reservation. I couldn't help but think about a similar scene in Date Night with with Tina Fey and Steve Carell. While the plot is a little forced in spots, Sarah Drew is delightful and I will always have a soft spot for Sean Astin from the Goonies (1985) and oh, yeah, Astin was also in The Lord of the Rings trilogy too!
Allyson, played by the perky and cute Sarah Drew, is a stressed out mom who desperately needs a night out. Her night away quickly goes awry. I've seen the criticism for this movie and I disagree that the underlying message is that things go wrong when moms leave the house. The thing is that things always get a little dicey whenever your main character is an unhappy stay-at-home-mom. Ultimately, Allyson comes to understand that her work is important and vital and that seems to make everything so much better for her. Did she not realize this before? Did she just need a little change of perspective? While I see that this movie honors mothers, it's a little simplistic for me. I mean, I live this life. I am Allyson (minus the cute bouncy red hair and cute clothes). I didn't expect this movie to have all the answers for a woman who chooses to stay home with small children, but then again, this movie is supposed to be light, funny, and even optimistic. Levity is in order here.
I did laugh out loud several times and that's worth a lot to me, but now I just want to watch Date Night again if only to hear stressed-out mom, Claire Foster (played by Tina Fey) lament how she just wants to drink a Diet Sprite alone. I think this is how Allyson feels in Moms' Night Out.
Phil: You never fantasize about leaving me for another man?
Claire: No, never. No. Never. No, God, if anything, I fantasize sometimes about being alone.
Phil: What does that mean?
Claire: I don’t know. Just, there are times when I’ve just thought about, on my worst day, just, you know, leaving our house and going some place. Like checking into a hotel and just being in a quiet room by myself. Just sitting in a quiet air-conditioned room, sitting down, eating my lunch with no one touching me, drinking a Diet Sprite, by myself.
Ha! That line sounds so sad, but there are days that drinking a Diet Sprite alone sounds so good and I would never drink a Diet Sprite!
Being mommy is demanding and hard and sometimes plain old boring, but I never doubt for a second how important I am to the little people in my life and how worthwhile this choice is. Sometimes, you just need a little adventure to shake things up even if your plans all go wrong.
Friday, May 16, 2014
Ahh, May. You've brought a lot of Spring snow. Tess built a snowman on Monday. Yup. In May. That's Colorado for you. She was in full snow gear building a snowman on Monday. Sam left for school wearing snow pants. By the end of the Spring Storm, we had nearly two feet of snow. I'm weary of snow, but I've learned something living here in Colorado. The seasons are always late to arrive. Spring is really Winter here. The only consolation of snow in May is the warmer weather makes it melt faster. Tess's snow man started melting yesterday. I guess I better go outside and collect our wooden carrot nose and hat.
We're full throttle right now headed straight for the last day of school finish line. Sam spent largely the first half of May in rehearsal for his theatrical debut in The Aristocats! Paul and I also spent a good chunk of our time helping out backstage and guess what? We both found that we really love getting involved with children's musical theater. I believe in theater. I believe theater offers all kinds of new brain skills while also building confidence. I almost wish I could get out there and perform too. After a full weekend of four performances of The Aristocats where Sam played both an alley cat and Private Vichy, the dog, he was exhausted.
Luke is heavily involved in digital audio production classes at school. He's just about to finish his freshman year and I can tell that he's passionate about film making. One of his collaborative film projects got nominated for an award this week. His film didn't win, but I think it was a big boost just to be nominated! He's learning to use all kinds of film-making technology and he will earn some college film school credits in high school as well.
So, life is full, busy, crazy, frustrating, and well, good, especially when I fill every tiny moment with books. A sentence here, a sentence there...
So, onto the books:
So, after I finished reading Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo to Sam, we took a few days off for a read-aloud break. I mean, he was busy with theater anyway. Flora and Ulysses is the current Newberry Winner, but I was kind of disappointed. It's quirkiness feels forced. I usually love DiCamillo's novels, but this one was just okay. I think Sam felt the same way. Anyway, after scouring Luke's shelves, Sam really just wanted to read the next Harry Potter. (A friend of mine bought me a British edition with the above cover). I was kind of eager to re-read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban too.
I was also pondering J K Rowling's revelation that she thought Harry and Hermione should have ended up together. I know this is old news already, but as I'm reading these books again, I just don't see what Rowling sees. I can't really get into Rowling's head to understand her reasoning, but I see Hermione and Harry as just too similar in personality making them kind of a bland match. I suppose there's some Myers-Briggs philosophy that could be applied here, but there's something so delightful and wonderful about Hermione and Ron being so different from each other. They make a vibrant couple. I'm glad that Rowling made the choice she did even if she isn't ultimately happy with it.
As I read through Azkaban again, I'm going to especially focus and hone in on Hermione and Ron. I suppose the story could have worked either way, but I loved seeing Ron's emotional transformation especially in the final book. It may have taken him a long time to figure out how incredibly awesome Hermione is, but we all knew he'd get there. What do you think?
Ok, I read a lot of Jane Austen fan fiction. I can't help it. I like seeing her stories unfold in modern circumstances. Dear Mr. Knightley is a little different. It isn't a re-telling a of any of Austen's novels. It's more of an homage to Jane. This was a quick read, but after I was done, I was ready for another YA Austen-inspired novel. I'm on the look out now.
Maybe this? It's Persuasion, but you know, set in high school. I love it already. It's a Summer read for sure.
The Books on the Nightstand podcast. Of course, I'm instantly curious. This might just shoot to the top of my reading list.
As for my other kids' reading: Luke is reading The Giver so that we can see the movie this Summer. I'm also reading a lot of Fancy Nancy to Tess. The twins are quickly growing out of our vast collection of board books. Liam really likes this terrible Strawberry Shortcake book that he chose at the library. I can't wait to return it.
I'm on Goodreads all the time. You can follow me there as I review every book I read.