Sunday, July 17, 2005
Last night a fun group of us went and saw CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Now, despite critics' warnings as one of the darkest films of the year (and so on), I loved it! Yes, it was slightly dark, slightly twisted and definitely Tim Burton-esque, but it brought me back to my childhood, making me giggle and snort and dream of playing in the land of edible flowers, rivers and grass. I yearned to be good little Charlie, who's one day sitting there eating his cabbage soup with his four grandparents (all crippled in bed) and his ma and his pa, dreaming of what it's like on "the inside," who three Willy Wonka chocolate bars later is ushered into the secret empire of the unknown.
As the movie came to a close, Charlie is given the option to either go and live with Willy Wonka by himself in the big ole' factory, or stay with his family. As we see Charlie (quickly) ponder his options and deliver the heartfelt family-first monologue, a loud whisper from cute little Henry VP is heard behind me: sitting on Kristi's lap, he says, "I'd choose Willy Wonka, mom." We're all slightly appalled, yet laughing at his comical boldness. Did he not get the message? Does he not understand that all the chocolate in the world is nothing in comparison to having a family whom he loves and who loves him in return? You see the family who thrives on competitiveness....the family who lets their child run wild, without boundaries....there's the family who spoils the child incessantly: "but I want my own squirrel, Daddy!"...and the family who lets the child thrive on the excessive, only to be sucked up the tube to have the Oompa Loompas sing a song about him. And then there's Charlie and his fam: they have nothing, yet they have everything. And that means more to him than all the chocolate in the world.
"...but I'd take the family along too." In the midst of my ramblings, Henry spoke up again, and he chose the best of both worlds: Willy AND his family. Of course he's got his priorities straight, and of course he can choose both! So can we have both? Can we have everything our heart desires and choose our family too? I think it's a hard balance, and I think for a long time I chose "Willy" over my family. It was much easier to involve myself with every activity under the sun than stay at home on a (god forbid) Friday night and hang out with the fam. My younger brother and sister said they always learned from my mistakes, so they learned to -for instance- communicate with our parents, taking the time to have a conversation every now and then. Now here I am, moving back to the Northwest in less than 3 weeks, 9 hours closer to my parents than I have been in SC (though brother Brandon and Melissa are in Hawaii for the next two years, and sis Aleah's in ITALY for the next three...). Who am I going to choose, Mom?
PS: Johnny Depp, once again, delivered the bacon. (Can one deliver the bacon? What's the phrase?) Regardless, he butchered the fakin-bacon and brought it on home...to his family, no less. :)