Monday, December 31, 2012

NaNoWriMo Research: Akeelah and the Bee

My pregnant friends tell me that they cry at the drop of a hat at touching movies.  For this reason, I think pregnant ladies should probably not watch Akeelah and the Bee.  So if you are pregnant and don't want to become a sobbing mess, don't watch Akeelah and the Bee. 

It is awesome.  I knew I was going to love it, so it's kind of a real wonder that I managed not to watch it for this long.  It's just great.  Smart female protagonist who has retreated into hiding is drawn out into the spotlight where her talent can shine if she can just be honest with herself and others and get the help she needs from her family, school, and community.  It's a traditional underdog story, so you will likely not be surprised by the overall trajectory.  There were a few surprises for me, and I realized one twist in advance and felt like the pot calling the kettle black (and also stupid for yelling at a movie character).

The extras were enlightening and helped me write off some of the critics more virulent criticisms (the movie was written a long time before the documentary about spelling bees, so it wasn't derivative) and has a charming underdog story of its own. 

Some of the acting is amazing, and it's a feel-good sort of story, so set your expectations low, warm, and fuzzy, and you will probably enjoy it despite its occasional heavy-handedness.  If you know any tweens, enjoy it with them, too.

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