Today Courtney and I had some "daddy and me" time together. She's been a big American Girl doll fan for several years, she has three of them and a ton of clothes.
Since they announced the movie a couple of months ago she's been asking me to take her. This morning we finally had a chance. Courtney put on the red T-shirt from her visit to the American Girl boutique a few years ago and brought one of her dolls with us. I'm pretty sure it was Nellie O'Malley.
Since we were going to a movie we had to stop and get candy. Even though it was 10 am. A bag of Skittles, M&Ms and we were set.
We arrived a few minutes early so we went to the Best Buy first to look at home theater receivers. Not sure why she wanted to do that, but I humored her ;-)
During the previews there were a couple of dog movies coming out this fall, so she of course asked me to take her to them. For those who don't know Courtney loves anything with dogs.
The movie plot is pretty basic: 10 year old girl during the great depression goes from leading an easy life to having her father lose his job, leave her and her mother to move to Chicago looking for work. Her mother had to take in borders to pay the mortgage. She dreams of being a writer and keeps writing articles about the 'good hobos' while most of the adults talk about how bad the hobos are.
Think of it as the anti-Disney movie. This time the Dad is gone and the mother is who keeps things together.
The plot was pretty heavy for a little kid and I think Courtney didn't get all of it. As a parent, several of the scenes were heartbreaking. Without giving a lot away, I'd say that one of the fears of a parent, especially in this economy, is to not be able to provide for your family and they hit that emotional button several times. It also touched on what the changes were doing to the kids. Again as a parent that was hard to watch.
The scene where the young boy tells a hobo to write his son, because the boy hadn't heard from his own father in months was gut wrenching.
One of the characters was the daughter of the bank president. While she wasn't as bad off as the others, she did learn first hand what the depression did to families. There were some funny moments, showing that not everything during that time was bad. There was even a few jokes aimed at the parents (pay attention during the magic scenes and you'll get them.)
In the end there is a little mystery, Scooby-do like chase and the 'good hobos' doing what is right so it had a good ending. It ignored that the depression went on for several more years.
Courtney enjoyed it and only asked one question about the plot line.
I wasn't prepared for the presentation of the great depression since it was rated G and based on what I'd read in the reviews, but otherwise it was a good movie for a 10 year old. I think my older daughter would have been bored.
We then went to TGI Fridays for lunch.
FYI: one of favorite books I read with both girls is going to be a movie this fall, they showed a preview of it: Tail of despereaux