Sunday, December 25, 2011

We Bought a Zoo (PG/124 Min.)

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Lions and tigers and bears oh my! Go see this movie!!! I went with my mom, dad and PT and we all loved it. I've been unable to go to the theater this month (except one visit to the OKCMOA) so I'm so glad I enjoyed the one mainstream movie I was finally able to see.

If you haven't heard about this movie yet it's based on the true story of a man (Benjamin Mee) who decides to move out of his neighborhood after his son, Dylan, is expelled from school. He and his daughter, Rosie, spend hours looking for a new home and both fall in love with the same house as soon as they see it. Unfortunately, the house shares the land with a zoo. Benjamin decides to give it a chance and the adventure begins. If you have heard of it already, the description is still the same.

Matt Damon plays the part of Benjamin, a man who lost his wife six months ago and is trying to be the best dad he can. Matt needs to be a dad in more movies. I am in love with his character. For today anyway. I'll love someone else tomorrow. My dad is doing some reading about the real Mee family and has just informed me that the mom died of a brain tumor three months after they bought the zoo. Sad.

Scarlett Johansson plays the part of Kelly, the zookeeper. I didn't much care for Scarlett in the first few of her movies that I saw but I've liked her more and more as her career has progressed. She is sweet and serious and funny in this film. Even though my heart broke when she had to stand up to Benjamin regarding one of the animals I still loved her for it.

The children are played by Colin Ford (Dylan) and Maggie Elizabeth Jones (Rosie). Dylan is 14 and was forced to grow up too fast when he watched his mom struggle through her illness. He's sad, sullen and in major need of a good talking to. You know it's gonna happen. It's just a matter of when. Rosie is 7 and is a little ray of sunshine through the entire movie. I was so glad we never had to see her cry. I don't think I could've taken it. Unfortunately, sweet little Rosie says one of a few bad words in the movie. I kinda wonder, though, if the real little Mee said the same thing and that's why it was included.

I pretty much liked all of the characters in We Bought a Zoo except for the guy who had to inspect the zoo before it could re-open. He was a jerk and a pig. But that was the point. Rosie's one bad word was aimed at him.

At times during the movie the animals stole the scene. Buster, the bear and Spar, the tiger were my favorites. And Crystal, the Capuchin was so sweet. I want to own a zoo.

And now for the breakdown..

Cussing - Yes. This is one of the only things that bothered me since this is a family film. $#!+ is the favorite and both kids use bad words. I'm not condoning what Dylan said but I'm really not surprised he said it.
Drinking/Drugs - No drugs but quite a bit of drinking.
Sex/Nudity - None at all.
Violence - Nope.
Intense scenes - Just two. I won't tell you what happens but one involves snakes and the other involves a lion, a busted lock and a man inside the lion enclosure. This second scene includes PT's favorite line of the film, "I'm full of Scotch, bitterness and impure thoughts." She has said this repeatedly since we left the theater.

Who would I recommend this to? Pretty much anyone but with the warning to parents regarding the cussing and drinking. It is such a good family movie if not for that. I will definitely buy the Blu-Ray/DVD when it comes out and might just go see it at the theater again. Mainly to help their standing at the box office. And ladies, if you're having trouble getting your guy to go with you because he thinks it's a chick flick you can assure them that the mush is kept to a minimum.

Finally, I just wanted to mention that the final scene is now one of my favorite movie endings and the reason I'm now in love with Matt Damon. Go see this!

P.S. If you like animals as much as I (and pretty much all my family) do you may need Kleen-Ex. PT commented as we were leaving that she noticed I had cried. A few minutes later she admitted to doing the same after mom said that she had cried too. But, rest assured that this doesn't last long. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll leave happy.

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