musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Shorts – the movie, not the apparel

Saturday was a strange one, which is to say, perfectly normal by my family’s standards. We were going to further celebrate S’s birthday with a trip to Water Country USA (which is pretty much right up the road from us and to which we have season passes thanks to our resident Grandma) But the weather looked really iffy, started to rain, so we decided on a detour attraction of going to see the movie Shorts instead.

About thirty minutes before the movie was to start, the sun, of course, came out. We got ready to leave at the last minute per the usual procrastinate and rush tactic. This time it was my fault for wanting to also see Ted Kennedy’s funeral before the movie while also finally folding this week’s laundry. S, in a frantic search for his flip-flops or sneakers, ran down the stairs, tripped over the safety gate, crashed into the opposite wall and hit his head in two places, top and back, on the front hall tile. Frankly, I would have liked to have seen how exactly he fell for those two bumps to swell…I was a curious cat long before I was concerned mother. I figured he was alive, his pupils were working properly and he was yelling, “I have incurred serious injury, here, people!” to beat the band about it, so he had to be fine.

We did make it to the movie during the final preview, without snacks, and with an icepack on top of S’s head.

So, the point of telling you all of this is I walked into Shorts thinking it was appropriate for his age group and directed by the Spy Kids guy. Even if Honey and I and possibly K didn’t enjoy it, at least S would and we would do so as a family. Well, I was pleasantly surprised by the cast which included William H. Macy, James Spader and John Cryer and even more surprised by the humor, charm and imagination of the movie. That’s saying a lot because our home movie night the night before was the Tim Burton movie of Neil Gaiman’s book, Coraline, and I’m not writing my review of that DVD, but of this movie instead, an enormous Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton fan.

It was really funny, fun and a great adventure told through the comic (as in superhero) eyes of the main character in flashbacks. As the boy tells his story, he says it naturally as in ‘hold on, forgot to tell you about…’ and then we get another Short, hence the name of the movie, which caused much consternation for my sons as we approached the theater.

K: “Why is it called Shorts?”

S: “Yeah! is it about a pair of shorts? Why would they make a movie about a pair of shorts?”

K: “No, it’s about a wishing rock, so it should be called Wishing Rock. I mean (looking at the marquis) District 9 is about a place called District 9, The Time Traveler’s Wife is about a time traveler’s wife, and Julie/Julia is about well, Julie and Julia.”

I love my kids.

I’ll tell you, we all laughed out loud in places, even the reluctant, “I’m not a Goth, Mom” slightly emo teen. It was an adventure, a romp, through a plastic covered anti-germ contamination house with giant man eating boogers, a parent turning into a terminator, another set of parents turning into the weirdest set of conjoined twins, and crocodile armies walking on two legs up the side of a castle that appeared out of thin air long with aliens and a never ending supply of chocolate bars where the most normal thing was a set of twins in a staring contest that lasts for days.

If you have kids, take them. Even my toddler enjoyed it, probably because of the super genius baby who can communicate telepathically and control things with her mind. Even if you don’t have kids, but you like to have fun, enjoy a good adventure, go see it. It’s good.

And of course, we returned home and relaxed just long enough to consider heading out to the neighborhood pool before the clouds rolled back over our heads…

I nearly forgot to mention that the theater clerk who sold us our tickets name was Marquis. I had to mention the irony of his name and his employ, to which he gave a big grin and laughed. Am I the only one who has made note of this to him?

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