Movies developed from books have a special pressure on them. It isn’t that they need to be as good as the book, but it seems like we want them to inspire the same feelings that we felt when we read it for the first time. Or that’s how we feel when we hear a book is being made into a movie. So much more for a movie made from a book we read as a child.
But how do you give an adult the feeling of no responsibilities, lazy weeks, sitting in the crook of a tree, reading all day (I actually did do this several times growing up. I’m not sure if it was all that comfortable at the time but, gosh, it creates a pretty amazing picture now, doesn’t it?)? It turns out that the way you create that first-time-you-read-it feeling of freedom & creativity & joy is to tap into adult daydreams. & who inspires the most modern inspirational life in the 2010’s but Ms Oprah Winfrey herself? I honestly never would have predicted it but do you know what happens when you pair Oprah with Reese Witherspoon (our favorite mom friend) & Mindy Kaling (the friend you call when you did something really stupid & need someone who won’t make you feel bad about it)?
A Wrinkle in Time magic.
I know, I’m as surprised as you are.
But they totally do it.
This movie is all about magic & believing & the combo of these three, honestly believable ladies brings a sense of fantasy that is so comfortable. That sentence is a mess but stick with me. We know these women, they are not perfect. We’ve seen them struggle with their weight & dating & divorce & having babies & not having babies & running huge companies & getting arrested & being absolutely fabulous & being completely not fabulous at all. The thing they all have in common is that they have had their downs but they keep getting up. So that’s the believability. The fact that we know them means we trust them & so, yeah, I can go with it when Reese appears in my backyard, swaddled in a giant white satin sheet, asking me to come with her to help save the universe (or something?). I can be okay with Oprah being 50 feet tall, because I know her. I know that she’s not going to take me someplace completely horrible. & she doesn’t.
She takes us to a beautiful fantasy land that’s colorful & bright but there’s a problem & blah blah blah. It’s a kid’s movie & stuff happens. But the difference between other kid movies & this one is that you are so happy to follow your girls to see what’s going to happen next.
Mindy as Mrs. Who, only speaks in other people’s quotes. I loved this switch from her usual mile a minute talking. She plays calm surprisingly well.
I also adored that Reese’s Mrs. Whatsit did not particularly like the main character, Meg. I won’t spoil it because how it progresses is really cute but I very much appreciated that we didn’t have to pretend that every adult loves every child (can I get an amen?). It’s not terrible or uncomfortable, just off enough to be just right.
I read the book as a child & I wanted to read it before seeing the movie but now I’m honestly glad that I didn’t. I was happy to be swept away with the Mrs, as they are called, to go find Chris Pine (because who doesn’t want to head off on a flying leaf to rescue Captain Kirk?).
(Quick make-up & fashion break:
To say that the cosmetics & costuming in this film are incredible would be like saying that Mr. Rogers is just some friendly guy who lives down the street. The dresses will make you weep, the eye shadow art will change your life. If you aren’t staring at the lipstick for at least a minute thinking, “This is what my soul has been missing.’ I don’t know what to tell you. Go because it’s nice to take your kids to a movie, stay because Pretty. So much Pretty!)
Back to our story…
The the three kids in the lead roles are really great, not completely stereotypical, which I appreciate. Just cute enough to make you want to watch them, not so cute that you are just starring the whole time wondering if they were computer generated. They are also flawed & have a hard time, they have some challenging things, they aren’t dealing with them in a healthy way & it’s totally relatable. I feel like any kid would understand where they are coming from & also be inspired by what they do.
In one particular scene the main character, Meg, is trying to get calm so that they can go to the next step of finding her dad, & she just cannot do it. She’s overwhelmed & it’s scary & I completely understood where she was coming from. How nice it it to see a child in a movie just be honest & say, I can’t do it? I really want to, but I can’t. The adults gave her room & also were there to help her. It was just lovely.
This movie is just lovely.
For kids, for adults.
So, for everyone.
(There are a couple of mildly scary scenes. They aren’t too long but one has a child being pulled down a hallway & I could see that being a little too real for certain kids.)
Emily Gulka is the founder of GoMomGo but she is surrounded by people way more talented than she is who keep it running & looking so good. Emily loves movies, books & peppermint hot chocolate. Her family (a husband, tween, teen & grumpy 10 year old pug) is her favorite but she doesn't mind some time alone, too. Life's a balance, you know?
We are super happy to give away a $10 Fandango gift card for you to use to see A Wrinkle in Time.
Comment with your favorite movie that was made from a book.
We will draw a winner Saturday March 10 at 8pm.