Has anyone seen the current issue of Parenting magazine? I'm asking for two reasons: 1) I'm about to meet Shawn Bean, its Executive Editor, who is speaking at Dad 2.0 later this week. (Wow. This week. By this time next week, it will have been last week! Trippy.) And 2) Moxie and I have heard a rumor that we are in it somewhere, in reference to the co-parenting co-blog we sort of still co-write. I know the urge to keep the blog up still co-exists, since we've gotten pretty good at co-operating with each co-other. If you've seen the issue, can you confirm or debunk whether it references us? I've been to four places that have rather enormous magazine selections, but Parenting hasn't been among them. And yet, I've seen about a dozen different magazines about EXTREME WEIGHTLIFTING, featuring ripped, veiny mesomorphs wearing nothing but teeny-tiny olive-smugglers. This culture, I swear.
On the furthest opposite end of the accessibility spectrum, there is "The Lorax," with its 70+ corporate tie-ins. TwoBert has always loved the book (especially now that he reads it to me), and we were fresh off of having borrowed "Horton Hears A Who!" which all three of us found profoundly not unpleasant. So when we sized up 1) the wintry chill and 2) the desperate need to get out of the house, we knuckled under to utterly relentless marketing and headed to the theater.
(As a side note: I've been to the movies three times since I moved here, and each time I've arrived waaayy too early. New York has permanently branded into my cortex that all people must arrive several hours before a film to get tickets and save your seat next to the three loudmouths who smell like Axe and stale popcorn. But on this opening weekend, it took us 15 minutes to get to the theater, pay tickets, take a leak, and plant ourselves in perfect, smack-in-the-middle seats.)
About 10 minutes in, it became obvious why the theater was only 1/3 full. The secret was likely out that this movie stinks. To say it is based on the book is to say tiramisu is based on coffee beans. You can pick out the basic details, like the "Unless" stone and the shell of a great-great-great-grandfather snail, but the rest is both unrecognizable and completely derivative. Like the villain, whom we liked as Edna Mode eight years ago.
And there's NO mention of Bar-ba-loots! Or Swomee-Swans or Humming-Fish! They're all there, but never referred to by name. It's almost as if the producers purchased the rights to only half the intellectual property, and used the savings to focus group the living shit out of every decision they made.
It's testament to Dr. Seuss's singular specialness that no one who has tried to bring his work to the screen has gotten it right. Because his work is not meant to be filmed. Its meter and goofy lexicon are made to be read and enjoyed in all its uniqueness. Robert the newly minted 10-year-old was pretty grumpy about the movie as we left the theater, but TwoBert typically found the brighter side. "They made up a bunch of junk that wasn't in the book, but it still warms the mind."