Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Wise Kids in 300 Words or Less

I have such a longstanding difficult relationship towards religion that sometimes I unjustly stay away from religious themed entertainments altogether - I recall the hours upon endless hours of getting preached at in my youth, and I shudder at the thought of revisiting it. I know where I stand - I'm not a believer now, not in the slightest. But I am still entirely fascinated by religion - it was a massive part of who I was growing up and I know from experience that there are plenty of good people who mean well wrapped up in it. Considering that shift in myself, how and why it happened, is probably gonna be good for a life's worth of reflection. And it takes real honest effort to contemplate that place without being reductive.

Which is what The Wise Kids is just brimming with. Genuine respect for all of its characters, from every angle, and a deep sense of empathy - it would be really easy to slip off the tight-rope, to get preachy one way or the other, to turn these folks into saints or punchlines, and it never does. Watching it you really feel as if it knows each and every one of them to their cores, and it loves them for all of their willfull weirdnesses and foibles and good natures. And at film's end I was desperately sad to see them go - I want the adventures of Tim and Brea in New York! What happens with Austin and Cheryl? And Laura! Poor "Don't call me dumb!' Laura. The character I was most naturally inclined to resent and pick apart - she kept breaking my heart.


Joe Reid said...

Aaaahhhh, that "don't call me dumb" scene. I love it so much. What a wonderful little weirdo. I'm so so so glad you saw this.

JA said...

I'm so glad you got me to see this! Thank you, Joe.