Penelope opening this weekend

Penelope for forever. And every time we see it, my daughter turns to me with great urgency.

“I want to see that,” she says. Not the “oh that’s so cute” sort of “I want to see that” or the “all my friends will be seeing it” sort of “I want to see that,” but more of a “that movie is about a girl who isn’t perfect getting a happy ending, and I need to see that.”

My daughter is not unattractive, you understand. I happen to think she’s gorgeous, though it’s possible I’m slightly biased. But there’s certainly nothing wrong with her. Well, nothing other than the fact that she’s a hormonal tween and she has recently looked in the mirror and not seen Hannah Montana staring back at her… and has therefore found herself wanting.

My son is younger, and so I don’t yet know if boys go through a similar period of time where suddenly they are not smart enough, attractive enough, popular enough. I can remember experiencing this myself at around my daughter’s age, and watching her struggle through it is not what I would term one of the perks of parenting. Our society too often demands perfection and perfection is almost always impossible. That’s a tall order for anyone, much less a little kid.

And so I will take my daughter to see Penelope. I will cross my fingers that the movie’s tagline—”A fairy tale like no other”—is really true. I will hope that Penelope saves herself (rather than being saved by a love interest) and that her “flaw” becomes inconsequential. I would really, really like to share a story like that with my daughter right about now.

Over at Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews are currently mixed, but the scales are tipping in a favorable direction. Me, I’m clinging to the last words of Roger Moore’s review:

What Penelope offers is a terrific cast willing to emphasize the charming, a decent fake nose and a message that any parent would love to pass on to a child — love yourself and the world will love you back.

Sounds good to me.

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