Each week we here at Matt’s Movies try to help the busy family avoid the very real problem of Netflix Indecision. At any time Netflix Indecision can strike and lead to a 20 minute debate about what to watch. That might have been OK before you had kids, but now with TV time at a premium you need to be reasonably certain that you aren’t wasting your time with your viewing choice.
For The Kids
Get in touch with your emotions, as the tag line says. The main characters are all in the head of Riley, a young girl experiencing the challenges of being the new kid after her parents move her across the country. Pixar movies often tug at the heartstrings but this one will hit you harder than usual right in the feels, as the kids say. The major players are the emotions that control Riley’s brain. Fear is played by Bill Hader (SNL, Trainwreck) and seeks to keep Riley safe by being leery of everything. Disgust, played by Mindy Kaling (The Office, The Mindy Project) is also a safety mechanism, making sure that Riley doesn’t eat anything poisonous or broccoli related. Louis Black (The Daily Show) gives a hilarious performance as Anger. He’s the one in the poster with a flaming head. But the two most important emotions are Joy, played perfectly by the perennially perky Amy Poehler (Parks and Rec, Baby Mama) and Sadness, played by Phyllis Smith who you might remember as Phyllis from The Office. Sadness is a real bummer, obviously, but has an important part to play in our lives. Joy is more fun but can sometimes be shallow. The journey that Joy and Sadness go on to guide their human through a tough time will make you laugh and cry in equal amounts. The visual concept of the mind and all the imaginary friends, wishes, facts, trains of thought, etc. that reside within is creatively depicted in a way that even the youngest kids will like if only because of the bright colors.
For The Parents
With the “For the Parents” entries in this blog I don’t exclude any movie due to ratings. While each parent might have their own personal tastes that could preclude enjoying a movie that might be violent or profane, the idea here is that we’re all adults in this segment and it’s up to you to decide how to spend your movie night after the kids are in bed. However, this entry might well belong to a “For the Parents but it’s OK if The Kids See It Too” category. There’s a stagy fist-fight in one scene but by today’s standards it’s very tame and intended more to get laughs than to thrill. Eddie Albert (Green Acres, The Longest Day) plays a wisecracking cameraman to Gregory Peck’s (To Kill A Mockingbird, Moby Dick) suave reporter. Audrey Hepburn’s (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina) Princess Ann is quick witted but sheltered and breaks away from her stifling life as a dignitary for a mad-cap adventure in The Eternal City. The story of a lifetime for Peck’s reporter becomes a tryst that he’s not so sure he wants to share with the world. Little things about this movie have stuck with me ever since I was a kid. For example, Every time I see pajamas, think about pajamas, or hear someone say “pajamas” I say “puh-JAAAh-mas” like Audrey Hepburn’s Princess Ann, who has never heard of such a thing. This is one of those old movies that I recommend everyone watching. It’s effortlessly charming and it really holds up even if you’re quite young and can’t imagine enjoying a black and white movie. Give it a try. I promise you’ll fall in love with Hepburn, Peck, and 1950s Rome.