I had a plan today to take the curtains off the French doors and scrub them before the man from Acadian Flooring comes around tomorrow to measure them for new blinds. That was the plan, then my husband asked if I wanted to see a movie. Housework, movie . . . housework, movie. Oh, how to decide?
The movie he wanted to see was Dolphin Tale, a movie based on the true story of Winter the Dolphin, who was rescued in Florida and given a prosthetic tail after her own had to be amputated. I first encountered the story of Winter in an edition of News-2-You, a newspaper for young readers who need picture support published weekly by Unique Learning Systems. Back when I was working, I got all my news from News-2-You. I first learned about Pope Benedict’s 2008 visit to the US in News-2-You. Winter’s tale (you saw what I did there) is a fascinating one in its own right. It would have made a terrific movie all by itself.
I say “would have” because while Winter’s story is the basis of the movie, it’s not the only plot point. I’m fairly sure that whoever conceived of this movie jotted down a dozen or so movie cliches on little bits of paper, put them into a hat, and then had the writers pull out four or five to add to the true story. So in addition to Winter, we have Sawyer, the struggling young pre-adolescent (in his first two scenes I wasn’t entirely sure he could talk) who blossoms through his friendship with the dolphin; his cousin Kyle, the athlete turned bitter wounded veteran turned athlete again; Dr. Clay, the director of a non-profit facility which is about to be closed down and sold to a developer for a new hotel; and the crusty businessman with heart of gold. Really, who needed all that? It’s as if Kate Middleton had worried that her wedding dress wasn’t flashy enough and decided to dress it up with a feather boa, a dozen silk calla lilies and a large lapel button that read “Hot damn! I’m getting married!” And then wore it with roller skates.
Keep in mind, I love sappy movies about triumphing over adversity. I was at the movie theater the second it opened to buy tickets to Miracle. I made my husband take me to Huntington , West Virginia after we saw We Are Marshall*. So if a movie is too sappy for me, you can start boiling up maple syrup.
So should you go see this movie? I don’t know. It does have some good moments. Me, I kinda wished I’d stayed home and washed the doors.
*It was on our way home from Ohio and we were on our way to visit his sister in Tennessee, so while it wasn’t the most direct route, it was barely out of the way, and now I can add West Virginia to my list of states I’ve been to. Eleven more to go.