Monday, December 14, 2009

Phoebe in Wonderland

It's kind of ridiculous, but the premise of Idiocracy basically convinced me to have children. Yes, it's a comedy, and one with extravagant extremes, but the core idea isn't wrong. And I can't really sit back and complain about that while also being part of the problem. But I'm not here to talk about Idiocracy, which has uneven quality at best. I'm here to talk about Phoebe in Wonderland, which is amazing (and is available via Netflix insta-watch, if that's your thing). It is in fact nothing like Idiocracy (I'm already beginning to regret using that as a segue), except that both of them made me think about parenting.

Phoebe in Wonderland is a story that represents everything I fear and everything that excites me about the possibility of being a parent. You have this brilliant vibrant child who is everything you could want: imaginative, creative, and smart as can be. But then you also have the sort of thing that every parent fears: that their child is broken. And that situation threatens to tear the parents apart (both from each other and from themselves). It's a story of the best and the worst. It's a story that forces me to confront the question "even if it's hard, is it still worth it?"

I feel compelled to write about this movie, but I'm having a hard time deciding what to say. It's not quite true that if I told you more it would spoil the experience, but I do feel like it would lessen it. This is a story in which uncertainty made the journey stronger for me. So here's what you need to know: It's a beautiful film, it's well crafted, and for me it was extremely impactful. I often judge a movie by the conversation it spawns afterwards, but in the silence after this one there was absolutely no discussion as I grabbed for the remote and immediately rated it five stars. If you at all consider yourself to be in a similar place in life as me then I highly recommend you watch Phoebe in Wonderland.

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