Saturday, August 27, 2005
Why Children Should Not Be Movie Reviewers


Victor and I sat at the kitchen table talking and sipping tea, when Brian trotted into the room. To Victor's amusement, my son climbed up into his lap and helped himself to a cookie.

"Whatcha talking 'bout?" he asked, his mouth full of chocolate chips.

"Chew with your mouth closed," I told him automatically.

Brian looked baffled. "It IS closed. But I have to open it when I talk."

"Well, swallow your food first and THEN talk."

My son shot me one of his grownups-are-weird looks and swallowed. He took another bite of cookie. "So whatcha talking 'bout?"

Victor laughed.

I gave up. "Movies. We're talking about movies we've seen."

"Momma got me a movie the other day about Robin Hood."

"Did you like it?" Victor asked.

Brian nodded.

"Well, what was it about?"

"It was about this guy who wants to go to Texas."

Victor and I exchanged puzzled looks.

"Honey, you must be thinking of a different movie," I told him.

Brian shook his head indignantly. "No I'm not! It was about this sheriff who wants to go to Texas and Robin Hood won't let 'em."

"Maybe he's mixing up two different movies?" Victor suggested.

Brian looked from one to the other of us, completely exasperated. "I am NOT mixing up movies. Don't you remember, Momma? The sheriff kept riding through the towns saying 'Texas, Texas. I need money for Texas.' But then every time he got some money for the trip, Robin Hood took it away from him so he never got to go."

Dumbfounded, I stared at my son then started to laugh. Victor just howled. Brian watched us as though we'd lost our minds. "What's so funny?"

Victor wiped his eyes. "You know, it's actually a whole other movie when you look at it that way."

I gasped for breath. "Sort of makes you feel bad for the poor sherriff."

Brian nodded sagely. "Yes. Nobody else liked Texas very much."

It was quite some time before Victor and I were able to speak again.
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I'm a 40-something writer, artist, and Jill-of-All-Trades. For me, magic is looking at the ordinary and seeing the extraordinary. My writing tends to take me to unexpected places--not so surprising when I think about it. I had an unusual growing up and have always chosen the offbeat over the "safe". I prefer interesting people over beautiful ones, and I am fascinated by people's stories. What I love most about life is its glorious imperfections and fantastic plot twists.

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