Our family really loves silly movies. Unfortunately, since I have three boys, we have a hard time agreeing on what is silly and what is stupid. The boys love . . . welll . . . boy humor. You know, lots of body noises and ridiculous stuff, falling down, getting hurt. I can only take so much of that. But Night at the Museum, starring Ben Stiller satisfied us all. Stiller is one I can usually only take so much of before he starts getting on my nerves, but this role was perfect for him. As a divorced dad who aspires to do something great he instead finds constant failure. Because this results in steady unemployment and frequent evictions, the most recent eviction puts pressure on him to find a job or face temporary separation from his son. So he takes a job as a night security guard at a museum, not realizing that there is something magical afoot. The first night at the museum is full of surprises and the movie is about how he comes up with ways to manage the zany events that occur nightly. The film is graced with cameo appearances by Robin Williams, Dick VanDyke, Mickey Rooney, and Bill Cobbs, whose combined comic genius absolutely makes the film in my opinion.
The boys loved the silly stuff--dinosaur chases, teeny little guys fighting each other and the "giant" (Stiller), talking statues, and more. I liked the message that eventually you have to just grow up, especially when you have someone you love depending on you to provide stability and security for them. However, I also liked the idea that "growing up" and being responsible doesn't always mean leaving your dreams behind. I was a little uncomfortable with the image that divorce can result in a happy, satisfying life for everyone, becuase I just don't think that's so. There is also some potty humor which the boys love, but which still bothers me some. But nothing in it made me so uncomfortable as to cause me to question my judgement in letting the boys watch it. All in all, the film is accurately rated PG, making it a great family film if you like something a bit silly, but still exciting.
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