On the one hand, Thomas Rockwell’s book (upon which the film is based) is one of my all-time favorites from childhood. If you haven’t read it (even if you plan to see the movie), you simply MUST. That goes double if you have kids. It’s a magical read, if indeed you’ll allow me to use the word “magical” to describe a story about eating earthworms.
On the other hand, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it is very rare for a movie based upon a great book to live up to the original. So that can make for some disappointment.
And on the third hand, (okay, I don’t really have a third hand, but just go with me on this) the reviews have been fairly evenly mixed, indicating that it will be—at the very least—something my kids would enjoy.
This review, in particular, gives me hope:
In too many kid-oriented films, the child actors mouth off like small, sassy adults, in that creepy way that little girls are painted and teased and costumed to look like minimodels in beauty pageants. Here, the kids, refreshingly, act like kids.
Best of all, the script doesn’t skirt tough moments. Billy starts off giving his brother, 5-year-old Woody (cute Ty Panitz), a really hard time. It’s so bad that Woody tells Erika, who baby-sits him while Billy eats worms, that he wishes his brother were dead. It’s a punch in the gut moment, but it should ring true for many veterans of sibling battles.
I think it might be worth seeing. The only question is whether we head out this weekend, or wait for DVD. Decisions, decisions….
In the meantime, would it be cruel of me to try to schedule spaghetti for dinner on the same night we finally see the flick…?