Paddington 2

MOMMY MOVIE REVIEW: Why Your Kids (and YOU) Need “Paddington 2”

I usually spend my Mommy Movie Review time explaining why a movie is or is not appropriate for your kids, but I’m not doing that today. No, today I’m going to tell you why you need to see Paddington 2, because I know you have absolutely NO interest in it.
How do I know this?
Well, I know because I gave away FREE MOVIE PASSES to Paddington 2 and no one took them. OK, a handful of you took tickets, but only after I reminded you to (and begged, just a little). I usually run out of free passes pretty quickly, so I was surprised that no one wanted these. I’ll admit to a wave of apathy when I watched the Paddington 2 trailer, and that I brought extra candy to the screening, in case my daughters started to complain.
They didn’t complain. In fact, we were all swept up in the magic and utter sweetness of Paddington 2 as soon as it started.
This time around, our traveling bear (played by Ben Whishaw, who might have the kindest voice ever recorded) has found the perfect gift for his Aunt Lucy and starts working to raise money for it. The gift is snatched away by the aging actor, Phoenix Buchanan (a dastardly Hugh Grant, who’s having a blast), which sends Paddington on an unexpected path to prison. There he befriends the inmates and concocts a plan to clear his name and hopefully return home to his loving, adopted family.
The reason Paddington 2 works is because every single member of it’s cast commits themselves to the absolute sweetness of it all. There is no irony or ego here. It’s all about joy and acceptance and how a little bit of love can soften even the hardest hearts. Every scene seems to be coated in spun-sugar, but it still somehow never becomes saccharine.
Look, I don’t usually care if you see a movie or not. It’s your money and you should spend it however you want (even if it’s on rotten movies). I feel differently about Paddington 2 though, because you might kind of need this movie. I know I do. The end-of-the-holiday-season always leaves me feeling blue, but the world in general has had me disheartened recently. Sometimes I feel like we’ve all forgotten how to communicate with each other in a way that doesn’t lead to fights or harsh judgement. We live in a world where we are defined by our stances and parties now, not by the things that live in our hearts. It isolates us and makes everything seem grey and chilly.
Paddington 2 is a reminder that love lives in all of us and sometimes, a touch of kindness is all that’s needed to pull it out. It’s just a short film about a wee cub, but Paddington 2 might be the bear-hug needed to warm our cold, lonely hearts. (A+)

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