Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Good, wholesome family movies

It's Thanksgiving weekend--a time for hanging out, cooking, chatting, eating, and (at my parents' house, at least) watching movies with family. It can be tough to find movies that are inoffensive enough for 8-year-old kids and 80-year-old grandmothers, yet awesome enough to entertain hipster youngish adults. Here are two such movies I've seen recently:

The Parent Trap (Hayley Mills version). This is a classic from 1961. Two 13-year-olds are sent to summer camp, where they discover that they are twins separated at birth. Everything about the story is satisfying, from the gradual discovery of their twinhood (Hey, we're identical except for our haircuts! Hey, we have the same birthday! Hey, you only have a mom and I only have a dad! Are you thinking what I'm thinking?) to the clever scheme involving them switching places to get their parents back together. The movie is relentlessly positive and feelgood--they don't even get mad at their parents when they realize the parents never told them about each other. It's fantastic.

Akeelah and the Bee. This is a inspirational movie about a kid from a bad neighborhood in L.A. who tries to get to the National Spelling Bee. It's on the formulaic side, but it's based on a good formula. Very enjoyable.

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