Kevin invited me to go with him to see "Where the Wild Things Are" yesterday. I thought it was fitting to see the movie with him as he was the first person to find my blog a little over a year ago. I said YES and we went to an afternoon showing, complete with children.
I am unsure what I think at this point...it was enjoyable and the animatronics were pretty cool. The actors were good, especially Max Records who plays Max. There were moments full of heart and tenderness...but there was something about it that didn't resonate.
I couldn't love Max and I really wanted to...I did love Carol and the other Wild Things, but then they did some really awful things. I know that the point is that Max is learning from them, but I just couldn't really abide some of it. The culmination of this was the arm-ripping incident. I won't go into details, but I just couldn't go there. Then when Max came home, I wanted Mom to at least say, "Don't ever do that again!" or "I was worried!"
I'm not certain this is a children's movie - some of the lessons were too subtle. Some of the behavior too dangerous. The two kids behind us were not able to keep their attention on the movie and ended up playing with the leftover popcorn in the bag they had bought as their mother whispered harshly to them, "Shh! Stop talking! Stop that! Sit down!"
In the aftermath of the so-called "Balloon Boy", this movie just made me realize how much we don't teach our kids. How much our society needs to love and hold and teach kids and how to treat them. I admire the parents I know who are parents to their kids. It isn't easy to lead little people to good and right decisions, but it is our job. All of our jobs. And little Max, in the movie version, needed to be sent to his room without supper, like little Max in the book. He could have had some supper later. The book got it right. I'm not sure the movie did.
I hope I can read Maurice Sendak's perspective on the movie...maybe that will help me digest it more easily.