Saturday, January 14, 2006

Can you tell I got Netflix for Christmas?

So, today must be my day for mediocre films: I sat through Mr. & Mrs. Smith (very overrated) and The Brother's Grimm (which was just OK). With Mr. & Mrs., I was about 30 minutes into it and knew I wasn't going to enjoy it. But I also had nothing better to do, so I just left it in and tried to zone out for a while. There was too much blowing up of things to accomplish that, so I spent the time cursing my sister (who said this movie was worth watching) and wondering who the movie was supposed to appeal to. I did not come up with any answers.

As for the Brother's Grimm, it was the odd accents that turned me off. here I love a good accent -- but the key there is GOOD. These accents? Odd. And inconsistent. British-y one second, lapsed the next. The French are speaking in Italian and German accents, and I'm not entirely sure if it's part of the joke or not. There's this one little girl (who disappears in a very unappealing and disgusting way), and her accent is indecipherable....The story was interesting, but I just couldn't really get into it.
But earlier in the week, I lucked out. Taking a chance, I sent for Mad Hot Ballroom: it's a documentary about ballroom dancing in the New York public schools. Stop rolling your eyes... it was fabulous! My first thought was how great a program this was - dancing is a skill, an art, a sport; the kids learned so much more than the basic steps. It's certainly a program that should be studied, copied in other cities. My second though was how embarrassed these kids are going to be 15 years from now - I cringe at the thought of my own home movies from then - I can't imagine an actual audience of other people being able to view them.

But that did get me thinking about the girls in this movie - who were not just spectacular dancers (actually all the kids wound up really rocking), but also just balls of fire in all areas of their lives. It made me think - What happens to girls as they get older? The 10-12 year-old girls here were exactly how I remember being at that age: confident, full of spunk, full of energy and attitude. I remember being sure that what I said was not only right, but that it was important, that it mattered (even when other people didn't necessarily agree ;) ). It was in my attitude, the way I moved, the way I spent my time. These girls were all like that -- they said what they thought, they danced how they wanted, they spoke up in class, they gossiped and gave their opinions even when nobody asked.

I can remember being that way at that age, remember the attitude and how well it fit me, but what I can't remember is when it stopped, when I just started keeping things to myself, keeping quiet, watching instead of joining (or leading). And so many of the other girls in my class were like that too - fiesty - but somewhere along the line, we all changed. {I don't know if it's the same for boys (I'm not still friends with any of the boys I knew in 5th grade, so I can't say if they've changed or not)}

On one hand, it made me kind of sad: To think that those girls might grow out of their certainty, that they might never feel that sure of themselves, that strong and powerful again. To think about how strong and powerful I used to feel, and to wonder where it went.

On the other hand, there are parts of being 11 that I would never go back to -- specifically the parts were I'd have to be 13, 15, and 17 again. To have to go through all the uncertainty & awkwardness that followed. And being less sure that I was always right did enable me listen to other people, to see that they had important things to say too. And that's not something I would give up. There's a strength that comes from facing challenges that I didn't have then either -- at 11 the worst thing that had happened to me was that my best friend was planning on moving away. I've certainly faced a lot more than that in the 15 years since.
There's got to be a way to get back some of what I've lost, without giving up what I've learned (earned, even). I suppose that's kind of the point, right?

And that was w-a-y philosophical for a quick movie review.

So, to finish up... Wow, I miss dancing!

This movie has a beat, and a heart. My hips have been swiveling ever since -- it's contagious.

Anybody else seen these? Got an explaination for Mr. & Mrs. or an idea of what those accents were supposed to be? Are you sigining yourself up for some ballroom lessons or rolling your eyes at me cause I would if I could?

I'd love to hear from you - let me know.

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