Day 33: Despicable Me (2010)

This week I have been visiting my family in Iowa. The weather has been awesome—summer with a splash of fall. The scenery is beautiful. The grass and trees are green, providing a striking contrast with the browning fields of corn in the backdrop. It has been wonderful to visit with family and friends. Even though I am only here for a few days, they have been socially productive. My parents have a fire pit in their yard and on Tuesday a few of us sat around it, talked, and looked at the bazillion (wait, spell check is actually letting me get away with that word?) stars in the clear, crisp night.


In the small town where my parents live (and subsequently where I grew up), they have an old movie theater. When I say old, I don’t mean chunks of ceiling falling off the walls, threadbare carpet, and screenings of movies that have been out on DVD for a decade. No, this is classy old. Beautiful old. The marquee glows in neon pink in front of the stately brick building. Marquees are so underrated these days. I think they give the theater character; telling people to prepare for an event—not the take a break from shopping at the Gap before moving on to Abercrombie while sipping an ice-blended latte with non-fat soy milk and a hint of chocolate vibe you would get from the mall cineplex. This theater is different, special. A converted vaudeville theater, it is currently being restored to the splendor of its glory days (only now with digital 3D!!). Chandeliers dangle from the ceiling like diamond earrings in a movie star’s ear on Oscar night. The newly painted interior is fresh and vibrant. I absolutely love this theater.


Last night I had the choice of either chilling out at my parents’ farm under the starry sky with a cozy fire gently lapping in the fire pit or heading to my favorite movie theater to watch Despicable Me. I chose the latter. Sure, it wasn’t the most social of things I could be doing while visiting home, but I really, really like the theater.


Since the movie was actually on my Netflix queue (I tend to put new releases on there as a way to remember them when they come on DVD), I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to knock out a title off the list.


Despicable Me stars Steve Carell as Gru, a super villain with plans to steal the moon. With the help of Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) and his minions, he puts his wicked plan into action. However, in order to make the heist work, he needs a shrink ray, kept under lock and key of another villain, Vector (Jason Segel). Gru has a brilliant plan to infiltrate the enemy lair—adopt three girls who sold Vector cookies and use them as his “in.” Now, I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone, but Gru grows to love the girls (what?!) and has to choose between his villainy or the kids.


I thought this movie was just average. I was actually hoping for more, as the trailers made it look funnier than it was (I know, that is the purpose of trailers, but still!). Although it is a kid’s film, I wanted it to cater a bit more to the adults. There were a few bits thrown in that would resonate with people over 14, but I thought it would be even better if they tried appealing to the entire audience, not just the kids.


I am not sure whether I made the best call when I decided to see this film instead of finding constellations and searching for shooting stars, but I can’t change the past. I don’t regret, however, spending time in a real movie theater. As always, it was just an awesome experience.


Score: C

Netflix Queue: 473

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