I don’t attend many movies in a theater – it’s generally cheaper and quieter to watch them at home. (And then I have the added benefit of being able to multitask!) The first eleven months of 2017 I saw four movies in a theater (three of them were historical fiction and one, I admit, was absolutely just for fun). But if all goes as planned, I may see four more during the month of December.
Wonder – A Wonderful Movie
Last week, three of my daughters and I went to see Wonder in a theater. I had known nothing about it, until someone in an on-line writer’s group I’m in mentioned it, almost in passing. Fortunately I then watched a trailer for it, so I knew to bring Kleenexes – lots of Kleenexes! Without giving too much away (because I hate those types of reviews) I will say it’s a movie I think almost anyone would enjoy seeing. And if there were more movies like this being made, I would probably take the time to see more of them!
The main characters are a 5th grader, his 9th grade sister, and their parents. The 5th grader has a rare genetic disease, Treacher Collins Syndrome, that has resulted in him having more than two dozen surgeries – to correct major facial deformities. As a result, he has been homeschooled through 4th grade and is about to attend “real” school for the first time.
Needless to say, some serious bullying goes on when he starts school (because of the deformities and the homeschooling).
So why do I like the movie so much?
- It portrays homeschooling in a positive way. The mother at one point says “I can’t homeschool him forever” which I might disagree with but the overarching message about homeschooling is still extremely positive.
- The importance of family and family values, as well as getting through family struggles, is shown throughout the movie – sometimes in surprising ways.
- There are no bedroom scenes and no bad language, which make it a rare, good movie for family watching (and adults who are happy to leave all that behind). One spoiler alert – the family pet dies during the movie – which was the only “sad” part for a friend of mine’s middle school daughter. (So if you have a young child who might be bothered by that, please don’t take them.)
And a warning – again – in case you didn’t take my “lots of Kleenex” comment seriously – I’m pretty sure I was crying within five minutes of the start of the movie – and I cried most of the way though it. But, as a Mom, that’s how these types of movies affect me. But it was still a wonderful movie! (Maybe that’s part of why it was such a good movie.)
Reasons you might not like it
- As I said before – there are no bedroom scenes and no bad language – if your movies need those to be complete – don’t bother. (There are two couples who kiss, that’s it.)
- If you have a problem with interracial couples, you won’t like this.
- If you are okay with bullies and parents who encourage bullying, same answer.
Ultimately, my crying notwithstanding, this a “feel good” type movie – once everything and everyone gets straightened out. But along the way, the author did a great job telling a compelling story and it was actually made into a good movie. I have it on good authority that the audio book version of Wonder is also good, but alas, I didn’t find time this last week to listen to it. Maybe one of these days!
So, in summary, if you’re looking for a good family-friendly movie, I strongly recommend Wonder. And I would love to hear what you think about it after you see it.