Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Yeah, that’s right, I saw it. So, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m reviewing it. Hey, I’ve got nothing to hide.

Tom Popper never had a relationship with his father and, as a result, has a barrier up that keeps him from being too warmhearted or human. He’s a coldhearted commercial real estate agent with a lovely penthouse apartment and a broken down life. His father suddenly passes and leaves Tom a very peculiar inheritance…six penguins. I’m going to let you write the rest of the plot description. I’ll give you only two hints: he doesn’t get rid of the penguins and they serve as a catalyst that brings about the warming of his heart (irony?). Sorry, before laying that bombshell on you, I should have warned you to sit down first, as I know it must have come as quite a shock.

Ok, so, this movie’s plot progression and series of events are totally ridiculous. They are unbelievable , unrealistic and, well, ridiculous. That said, it wasn’t nearly as awful as the critics largely say it is. Jim Carrey is actually quite good in it. The writing is largely crap and the story makes the writing look like a true work of art, but he does a decent job with what he has and is fairly funny at times. Movies like this weren’t made for me (and probably not for most of you), but, let me say this, I saw it as part of a ‘family matinee’ program at a local theater and the kids were downright cheering at the end. My 11-year-old declared it her new favorite movie of all time.

In short, it’s stupid, it’s ludicrous, but it’s also sweet and pretty bearable. I have a close friend whose kids are crazy smart for their age and homeschooled. When I saw this movie, I asked them, when I saw them later that day, if they’d seen Mr. Popper’s Penguins and they said “what do you mean ‘seen,’ it’s a book and yes we’ve read it, we love it.” Turns out it was a Newberry Award winning kids book written in the ‘30’s. Listen to those sweet nerds and read your kids the book, but if you get dragged into seeing the movie, don’t worry, it won’t hurt too much.


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