Monday, January 10, 2011

He picked a good one!

My sweet husband does not have the best track record for picking movies.  For a while I’d actually revoked his Blockbuster privileges after he brought home the miniseries Jack and the Beanstalk, a reworking of the classic fairy tale where the giant was actually the good guy.  Note to anyone selecting a movie for family night: just because Jim Henson’s name appears on the box doesn’t mean it’s a good show for kids.  And please check the length of the film; a three-hour miniseries doesn’t really work for family night. 

But Sean has forever redeemed himself by selecting The King’s Speech for date night last week. 

When he first mentioned the plan I was scared.  Y’all, Sean-planned movie date nights are questionable.  I love the man for planning dates but our tastes in movies is as different as night and day.  Basically, we have a genre difference.  He enjoys space fantasy stuff; I prefer my movies be more reality-based.  Like the people acknowledge gravity.  So when he said, “We’re going to see The King’s Speech,” I was nervous. I was sure it was some crazy indie film he thought I would like. I kept my mouth shut because I want him to keep planning dates, but I had my doubts.

I am here to say I was completely and totally wrong.  Sean picked a great movie!

The King’s Speech is about King George VI.  He comes to power at the advent of radio, and is expected to give speeches on air, which proves difficult due to his extreme stammering.  His wife, Elizabeth, finds a speech therapist to help her husband.  The therapist, Lionel, is nonplused by the royal titles and simply employs his unconventional methods to help the King.

Now doesn’t that sound thrilling?  Not exactly.  But the story is amazing.  I loved George’s wife, Elizabeth, and the way she helped him and encouraged him.  I loved Lionel and how he loved his wife and kids. And the relationship between the King of England and an Australian speech therapist is simply fantastic.

It received an R rating for a string of foul language the king uses which appears to loosen his tongue.  It happens twice in the film and is completely and utterly important to the story.  Plugged In Online has this quote from Colin Firth, who plays King George: “I get that people don't want their small children hearing these strong words—I don't like them. … I don't want my kids thinking it's a good way to use language—language is more beautiful than that. It should be more thought about than that. It has more power than that. That's lazy and ugly—but that's not the case in this movie. [The foul language usage is] not vicious, it's not sexual, and it's not lazy—it's anything but. …these forbidden words have become momentary tools to get a guy to break out of extreme repression. Then he immediately gets rather sheepish and apologizes. There couldn't be a more harmless context. It doesn't teach your kids to sprinkle your language with these words or direct them against people..."

I am anxious to take Michael, Amy and Rebecca to see the film.  I have yet to see anything with such a positive message about perseverance and handling adversity with grace, not to mention seeing two intact families who love and respect each other.  As for the bad words, well, they’re nothing my dear ones haven’t heard from their mother while driving in traffic.  (Well, not the F one, but most of the others…)

I highly recommend The King’s Speech.  Get thee to a theatre and give it a go!