Daily Archives: January 5, 2012

My thoughts on “We Bought a Zoo” and other random things

Last month saw the opening of Cameron Crowe’s newest movie, We Bought a Zoo. It’s a true story about a guy who buys a zoo to save his family, which, I’ll be honest, is a pretty cool move. Even though this movie has Scarlet Johannson in it, I will most likely not be seeing it any time in the near future. I’m guessing that this will be one of those things that I watch at 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon when it comes on cable and I will hate myself for its duration and probably be emotionally manipulated by it in some way that will make the shameful, burning tears flow forth. But, this won’t stop me from making a few predictions for how this movie will play out before seeing it.

One: Matt Damon will smile at his children with the sun framing his face at least four times.
Two: When Matt Damon realizes that he loves Scarlet Johanson, this will be portrayed in a slow motion pan shot of her doing some mundane task.
Three: That guy from Wings won’t be as funny as he was on Wings.
Four: Although there will be a close call with his daughter, neither of his children will be mauled by any of the animals.
Five: Hugs.

Cameron Crowe loves to make these movies that are sort of but not quite based on true life events. His first movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High was based on a book that he wrote with the same title. During his time as a Rolling Stone reporter, Crowe went undercover at a high school, posing as a senior for the entire year. He wrote about his experiences and later turned them into a film. For any fan of the movie, I highly recommend checking out the book. It’s interesting to note that Crowe graduated from high school early at the age of 16. Writing this novel and making this movie gave him an opportunity to have that quintessential high school experience that he missed out on. But, I guess that wasn’t enough for him, because he then went on to make one of the most definitive high school movies of the eighties, Say Anything. And I’m not talking about that terrible emo band. I’m talking about a kick boxing John Cusack playing Peter Gabriel on his boombox and winning the heart of the smartest girl in school. It really is only second in my mind to The Breakfast Club, a movie that captures the high school experience so flawlessly that I still get a little choked up at the end. Almost Famous is also a sort of  true story/autobiographical piece, telling the tale of Crowe’s early start in the world of music journalism. I’ve never seen it so I can’t really comment on its merit as a film, but I’ve heard good things.  I’ve also never seen Jerry Maguire and never will. You may find yourself asking, “Why Christopher? Why haven’t you ever seen such a successful film as this one?”

I’ll give you two reasons:

One: Tom Cruise
Two: Cuba Gooding, Jr.

and for good measure

Three: Those “show me the money” and “you had me at hello” lines.

Although, as much as I hate Tom Cruise, I love the movie Knight and Day. I can’t say the same for any Cuba Gooding, Jr. movie. Wait. I take that back. Coming to America was awesome. Cameron, if you’re reading this, can you somehow turn Jerry Maguire into a perfect combination of those two movies that is also based on some type of true story?



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