Frozen (Movie Review)

Nobody enjoys going to movies with me. Not the other people in the theatre, not my friends, and certainly not my husband. OK, that last isn’t quite true. Scott doesn’t mind if I like a movie, and he hasn’t divorced me over the ones I’ve hated. This includes Whomever Jackson’s bastardization of The Two Towers, which I ultimately walked out of in tears at about the midway point.

But seriously. If you want to be my friend, let’s don’t go see a film together. Because I’m that gal sitting dead center in the middle row who won’t shut up. If I like the story, I cackle at every punch line, shout encouragement to the main characters, and boo the bad guys. If I hate it, I deride the director, demand explanations from an invisible producer, and whine about product placements. I pipe down every time Scott whispers, “Let other people enjoy it.” But within minutes, I’m at it again, so engaged with the screen that I have no control over my mouth.

I’ve never met anybody as obnoxious as I am at the cinema.

Until Sunday.

Last week, Caroline did a 180 on her position that movies were sensory nightmares and announced a desire to see Frozen. So I took the kids when I knew the theater would be deserted. (Actually, for 9:55 on a Sunday in the South, it was surprisingly crowded. I think I just figured out what the rest of the agnostics and atheists in town do for entertainment while their Christian brethren commune with the Lord.)

Sam sat, as he always does, transfixed by the film, except that he has started melodramatically climbing in my lap and demanding that I cover his ears while he covers his eyes during the parts he deems too scary (i.e. any time the plot gets tense or the music becomes ominous. Snow monsters are fine; treachery and treason, not so much.) But Caroline, from the moment that Princess Ana demanded “Wanna build a snowman?” of her older sister Elsa, was chatting up the screen.

“No, no, NO! Don’t climb so HIGH!” she pleaded with the young Ana. “Oh God, they’re dead,” she sympathized with the mourning sisters.

And was I, as a proper parent should do, shushing her and reminding her that it was only a movie? No. No, I was not. Or not much, anyway. In real life, I tell her thirty times a day to stop talking to her video games, to turn down her personal volume, and to generally calm down and not amp up.

But at the movies, I morph into a cross between Siskel and Ebert and the guy on MST3K myself, so I was helpless to curb my daughter’s enthusiasms. To every exclamation of Caroline’s, I had a whispered remark of my own. (And I have trained myself to keep the chatter down to a whisper; Caroline still needs to work on this.) If it was funny, we both barked laughter. If touching, we “aww” ed in unison. While Sam was demanding that I cover his ears for the umpteenth time, Caroline was begging, “No, no, no, Hans DON’T,” while I beat on her arm and hissed, “Isn’t this the best plot twist EVER? I can’t believe it! They were all right!” (Never mind that it was a twist straight out of Shakespeare.)

It was a kid-flick, so the extra vocalizations went largely unnoticed. Still, when the lights came up, I saw the glances darted in our direction. Ah. So it was them. Caroline, who has only experienced three in-cinema movies ever, didn’t recognize these people for deriders. In fact, she beamed at every pair of eyes and greeted several complete strangers with chipper joy, much as if she was Olaf the Snowman looking merrily for warm hugs and summer, completely immune to the consequences of both.

And as for the film, we loved it. There were SO many places where the story could have devolved into typical princess shit that it instead mocked exactly the trope it had been setting up for forty five minutes. There were a number of unexpected twists, and it had enough humor to balance out the sorrow. Also, the cheesy lyrics were tolerable, sometimes even enjoyable, in the context of a movie that wasn’t afraid to laugh at itself.

I only had two real complaints. First, there’s a scene where big sister Elsa, in breaking out of her good-princess role, gets all vamped out. It seemed unnecessary. I mean, I’d love for Disney to write a heroine who NEEDED to be sexy-strong. But this character went all sultry in the stereotypical “if I am strong my sexuality MUST play into it, let’s make sexual frigidity metaphors shall we?” sort of way.  Second, as with Brave (which I also loved), it was the all-white-people revue. So, fine, Disney is setting it in a fictional Scandanavian-ish area. Brave was in a fictional Ireland. So black characters would be anachronistic, right? Oh, wait, SO ARE BARBIE-WAISTED MAGIC-WIELDING PRINCESSES WITH ORDINARY SIBLINGS who have modern-sounding teen dialogue.  These are imaginary places. So fucking make them inclusive.

But those are my only gripes with otherwise good tales, and I only felt obliged to mutter them at the screen. And in Caroline, I think I’ve finally found someone to see movies with me. As long as we both like the film. Because if we don’t? Heaven help the ushers trying to throw us both out.

About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.


Frozen (Movie Review) — 9 Comments

  1. I talk to movies, the TV and imaginary characters in books too.
    I have no real internal censor, although I do try to use is as often as polite human contact requires. 😉

    I am so completely stoked that you liked FROZEN too.

    Plus now I know that if we go to movies together that the talking I do during it won’t be a problem at all. 😉

    great review Jessie.

  2. Hahahaha! I love this. We would be perfect movie companions becuase I can’t hear a damn thing anyway so your hushed comments would definitely make the cost of a movie theater viewing worth it for me. I love that Caroline inherited your habit.
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  3. I don’t think I should ever go to the movies with you, I don’t even tolerate loud popcorn munching (people need to shut their mouthes when they eat). I once catapulted into the air to grab a stranger by the neck so he would stop crinkling a grocery bag at his feet. As I was flying in mid air, I wondered what I was going to do if he was psychotic and couldn’t control his anger. Instead he looked at me with utter fear, and never moved after that…

    I enjoy my movies in darkness and total silence so I can fully submerge myself in it’s fantasy. But this flick sound good!


  4. I loved Frozen. I have some of the same issues with the over sexualization of the characters, was it really necessary for Elsa to go all uber-sexy sorcerer? Probably not. But that’s Disney for you.

    And I definitely let such issues as the “all-whiteness” of the characters go if it’s someplace like Sweden. Judging by the modes of transportation it was probably pre-industrialization and immigration so yes, it’ll mainly be all white folks.

    I’d like to see them do a people-version Africa type tale (Lion King isn’t enough). There has got to be TONS of fabulous folk stories they can play with with African people. And maybe a more realistic interpretation of a Native Indian folktale. (Pocahontas doesn’t count)

  5. Ha! I’m SOOOOOO out of it when it come to movies. We don’t get a lot of them in English here. I’m pretty quiet during the show–though Sara says I talk to myself almost constantly otherwise.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Hop over and visit Kathy’s recent post Annual Insanity: The Ecuador EditionMy Profile

  6. First of all – you just gave me a great idea- if I want to go to the movies down here – go on a Sunday morning (even though you noted that your movie was crowded, it sounds like this is not the norm). Second of all, I love what you way about “be inclusive.” It’s pretend. It’s Disney! They rule the world anyway – they can rewrite history all they want and no one would question it. And I would totally go to the movie with you – and I wouldn’t mind the cackling.
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