Saturday, April 9, 2022

A little something for the weekend?


In keeping with the “secondhand” theme of this week’s Pete Wood Challenge, I’d like to recommend a 2003 movie that you may have missed: Secondhand Lions

It’s sweet. It’s funny. It’s sentimental, in a way that some people might feel veers into schmaltzy, and I can see people possibly being upset by the core premise: that the mother in this movie is an irresponsible flake with terrible judgment in men, who dumps her tweenage son, Walter (Haley Joel Osment), on her two bachelor uncles, Hub (Robert Duvall) and Garth (Michael Caine), while she takes off for the summer on yet another impulsive and disastrous adventure. Hub and Garth are none too happy about being saddled with the kid, but what follows is a wonderful coming-of-age story as Walter gets to know his great-uncles, who may be rich, definitely are eccentric, and may have had incredible lives filled with grand adventures—or might just be a couple of cranky old crackers, sitting on the porch and spinning tall tales to see what they can get their credulous grand-nephew to believe. Duvall and Caine are in top form for this one, and Osment is the heart of this movie, as he grows from being a child buffeted by fate and an inconvenience to his mother to finding agency in his own life, and becoming a young man on the verge of adulthood.

There is nothing Earth-shattering or radically new here, but it’s good story, well-told, and an enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half.

P.S. And no, Berke Breathed had nothing to do with the script for this one. The producers just had the good sense to realize that if they wanted to put good cartoon art in this movie, they should hire a good cartoon artist to draw it.


LookingUp said...

This is one of my husband's favorite movies. He made me watch it when we were dating and turned me into a fan as well!