Margie Cracken is a guest blogger for StrangeCultureBlog.com, her style & taste are not typical to the Film Blog Community. You can read more about Margie here.
|Colin Ford, Matt Damon, Maggie Elizabeth Jones & Leon the Beagle|
I don't know what my late husband would have done if I had died, but I can promise you he would not have bought a zoo. I watch the frantic scenes at the beginning and couldn't help but try to imagine what type of lunches my husband might have packed for son. Probably send him to school with the left-over pizza still in the delivery box.
I certainly claim no expertise on parenting, as I know that there is certainly a fair dose of controversy. I even remember as a child my mother having discussions with other ladies about the childcare methods proposed in Dr. Benjamin Spock's books. How the times have changed. There are certainly some spacey parents out there now days. Poor parents, poor children, I don't know where this world is going.
Yet, this Matt Damon character Benjamin Mee is out of his mind. What is he thinking we he buys that zoo. His son is clearly having a problem getting over the death of his mother, and that cute little girl is just so precious she would jump off a building if he asked her.
I'm very confused why this is called We Bought a Zoo. It should be a called He Buys A Zoo, at best, or if it were up to me the long title should be An Irresponsible Father Waste His Inheritance Buying a Zoo.
I must say, I related and sympathized to the zoo inspector in this film. He clearly only wanted to make the zoo safe before giving the family the certificate to open the zoo to the public. Benjamin seems to think that he has some sort of entitlement as a widower that he should be able to put not only his own children in harm's way but also unsuspecting strangers.
I wondered at times if the director of the film was trying to make the zoo inspector into the film's villain, but zoo safety seems very important.
Speaking of safety, that scene were the boy lets the snake's out of the box gave me nightmares for days. I don't do well with snakes in any circumstances and to see those crawling all over the yard gave me a start, that for whatever reason I just could not shake.
I'm not sure in the end how I feel about this film. I appreciate that the main character, Ben, wants to walk a different path. And as a widow myself, I understand you never get over the one's you love and share life with, even if they sometimes drive you batty (especially when they never seem to be able to put their clothes in the hamper, or put the toilet seat down). Yet, this film takes it to far.
In my opinion a far better film with similar themes is Sleepless in Seattle. Tom Hanks is splendid in that movie, and even though Meg Ryan seems to have some problems, Tom Hanks' character (Sam, I believe), really seems to get it together. He finds someone else and moves on. Just think how crazy it would be if Tom Hanks bought a zoo.