Moms

A Few Good Moms: Can you handle the truth about summer movies?

It may seem like a silly escape from reality, but the truth is, the real magic of movies is that sometimes they actually hit pretty close to home.
It may seem like a silly escape from reality, but the truth is, the real magic of movies is that sometimes they actually hit pretty close to home. Getty Images/iStockphoto

The mom grabs her keys and purse, shoves her phone into her back pocket, and speed walks down the driveway to her car. A gaggle of kids run up from behind her and jump inside. The next-door neighbor thanks her for taking them and offers to pick up once the movie is over. “Not necessary,” the mom replies, smiling. “I’m going.”

You want the truth about summer movies for kids? I think you can handle it.

Here’s to summer movies. I mean it. No snarky “this is the crazy underbelly” blog today. I love summer movies because they offer a sweet escape from the awful summer heat and the chance to do something fun and entertaining with your kids. I just had the best time with the boys at the latest Marvel installment, Ant Man.

In this movie, the unlikely super hero is ex-con Scott Lang. He has mad skills in the breaking-and-entering department – both actual and virtual – and a forgivable Robin Hood type motivation for his crimes. When the movie opens, he is on his way out of prison.

I was very excited to see this movie because: 1) it represented two hours of fun for the kids where I was only required to sit on my fanny with a Diet Coke and to watch an awesome show; and 2) I am a huge Paul Rudd fan.

So much so that I felt compelled to share that fact with my kids. That a really great, funny actor was the hero. That he was in one of my favorite movies, This is 40, directed by the brilliant Judd Apatow.

When it was clarified that Judd Apatow did not direct Ant Man, the boys asked the name of the last movie he had directed. “Trainwreck,” I answered.

“Should we go see Trainwreck instead?” they asked.

“Uh, no.”

“Because you have already seen it twice?”

“Exactly!” I answered, wondering how long it would be before the boys could appreciate just how cool their mom was. At this point it was certainly a well-kept secret. I imagined us listening to Howard Stern on Sirius on our way home to watch Superbad on Netflix. Yeah, it would be awhile.

It turned out Ant Man was just our speed, and came at a perfect time. A few days earlier my son ran into some trouble on the home front and suffered the ensuing discipline and consequences. He worked very hard the next day to turn things around and seemed relieved to find that it is never too late to do the right thing. Even without Ant Man’s cool suit and army of ants, he went from the criminal to the hero with his great attitude and hard labor. And subsequently he was able to join in on the movie fun later in the week.

When brainstorming about blog topics for this week, I asked him what he thought I should write about. He answered, “The truth about Ant Man!”

Sure, I told him. He cocked his head to the side and looked skeptical. “The truth about Ant Man is that every person is more than his worst mistake,” I said. He smiled and nodded.

If you haven’t done it yet, make sure you grab a little summer cinema with your crew before that back-to-school bell rings. It may seem like a silly escape from reality, but the truth is, the real magic of movies is that sometimes they actually hit pretty close to home.

Want to get a better handle on summer movies with the kids? Check out the trailer to the fabulous Ant Man, consider another possible family flick with this review by Lawrence Toppman, and enjoy Apatow-directed Amy Schumer in perhaps her only PG-rated clip on the Internet.

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