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Kids Today: Babies and Liars

If you haven't seen the movie Babies, be careful! This post is full of spoiler alerts.

***********FIRST SPOILER ALERT!!!!!*****************

Just kidding, you already knew that! And if you didn't already know that...well, this might not be the movie for you. This film was cinema verite at its finest, as only the French can produce, and featured, simply, babies, doing their baby things. They were born, learned to sit, stand, walk, and were generally adorable. The film had no narration, and very few shots of adults. It followed four babies in different parts of the world for the first year of their lives. Some might call it boring, but I call it fantastic.

**********************SECOND SPOILER ALERT*******************

The American parents were ridiculous in comparison with the other parents--the American baby had a million toys, took part in baby classes, seemed ridiculously coddled, of course the other babies (who only had rocks to play with and crawled around in the dirt) were equally healthy and happy. Something about the thesis "Americans are ridiculous" seemed very French to me, as well. Also, the American baby was the least adorable. (Sorry, American baby. You were pretty cute, but...not as cute as the others.)

I don't have much else to say about this film, except that if you are with a group of people that varies in age or taste, this is the least offensive movie you could possibly see. In the history of movies. I cannot think of a more unifying film. This just might be the movie to end all divisions, all conflicts, all human barriers--because it showed, so simply, with no dialogue or narration, no words at all, that we all start out as babies, we all act the same in the first year of our lives, and we are pretty much all the same. I liked it even better than March of the Penguins. And, I REALLY liked March of the Penguins.

Though we all begin the same, we quickly grow into catty, cliquey, shallow teenagers who live only to tear each other down. We start as adorable babies and grow into Pretty Little Liars who may or may not have murdered a friend who then comes back to haunt us by texting our secrets to everyone...

Tuesday night brought the premiere of ABC Family's new summer "guilty pleasure" (that's how it's advertised, so I guess they are going to bypass any halfhearted attempt to create a legitimate drama) Pretty Little Liars. The first episode was...confusing. I think that's because the first episode covered the plot of the entire first book in this series, and the result was too much information and plot crammed into an hour of television (minus the many commercial breaks--I felt like I was picking up the remote to fast forward just moments after I had set it down). In the first episode we discovered that a group of five 15-year-old friends had a slumber party in an old barn of some sort that ended in one of the girls (Alison, or "A") going missing. I was already confused by this first scene and am still not sure how she went missing or what happened to her (maybe this is going to be revealed as the show continues, but I had a feeling that I was just missing something...).

The show then flashed forward to a year later and we learned that the girls had fallen out with each other. We learned about their past through flashbacks involving Alison, who appeared to be the meanest of all the girls. So, maybe they killed her? I'm not sure. We do find out, by the end of the episode, that she is indeed dead, and is texting secrets from beyond the grave. So it's sort of like a macabre Gossip Girl, which I like...but something seems off to me so far. I'm hoping that as the season continues they slow down the plot and the show will find its grove. More than anything, the pacing felt off, since so much was brought up and then quickly resolved and we learned about each of the girls' secrets too quickly. I'll give it another chance next week, and I hope that it becomes a good enough summer series to occupy my Tuesday nights. Even if it doesn't improve much from the mediocre premier, I'd still give it a rating of CONTENT KITTEN, which is really all I'm looking for to accompany my glass of summer rose wine and square of dark chocolate hazelnut bar.

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  1. Blogger qualler | 3:38 PM |  

    SPOILER ALERT! Um, a baby just smiled somewhere in the world.

  2. Blogger Papa Thor | 8:10 AM |  

    It is well known that I LOVE BABIES!
    Two more comments about that movie:
    - Even I winced when I saw that Mongolian mother try to hop on the motorcycle to go home from the hospital.
    - Those African mothers seemed to do just fine with tons of little kids running around and no men in sight. How come American women insist on the fathers helping out?

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