The Oscars are a week away and I have seen four of the movies nominated, two of which were animated films. That is a record for me. I think the movie “Instructions Not Included” deserved a nomination. It didn’t resonate with critics, but the common folk gave better reviews. The Spanish-language film grossed over $40 million. I saw it in the theater with a good friend of mine, but watched it again on TV over the weekend with my husband. We tried to start the movie when the kids were still awake. It was a bad idea. My 6-year-old is learning to read and is very excited about it. Do you remember the scene in Rain Man when Dustin Hoffman’s character reads every sign he sees a loud? My son reads everything, too. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. This is what it was like trying to watch a subtitled movie with him.
There are movies that makes you laugh, cry and the rare screenplay that takes your breath away. Honestly, I don’t recall the last time I saw a movie like Instructions Not Included. I absolutely loved this movie. Critics hate it. For years I have based my decision to rent movies on the Rotten Tomatoes rating. Yes, it is ridiculous to make life decisions on a food that claims to be a fruit, but is used as a vegetable. I am glad I didn’t check the website before buying this ticket.
I met my good friend, Nikki, at the theater tonight. How did I escape the homestead? I had to taxi my teenage son and his friends to the theater. They wanted to see some ridiculously scary movie. I hate being scared which is why I don’t watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The guys were really disappointed I wouldn’t be joining them. Ha! Yeah, right. I bought two giant tubs of popcorn, gave them the soda and candy I smuggled into the theater and sent them on their way.
Nikki had heard good things about Instructions Not Included. She did not know it was a foreign film. I thought we had mistakenly pressed one. Were we in the wrong theater? She turned to me, “Is this a Spanish movie?” The guy seated in front of us chuckled, “Si señor.” I took French in high school, but Dora has taught me a few things. “He said yes.” We debated leaving, but I paid $10.50 and wasn’t budging. It just seems like a lot of work reading and watching a movie for two hours. Of course I have seen other foreign films. There is the one about the orphan who is encouraged to consider himself at home, consider himself one of the family. Then, there is the one about the French mouse who wants to be a chef.
By the end of the movie I forgot there were subtitles. I was also sobbing. I am talking a ‘moaning, ugly face, snot running down your face’ cry. Sure, there were a few over the top Telenovela-ish scenes. It was also funny and touching. I highly recommend it. I don’t recommend trying to engage teenage boys in conversation. Just drive and accept the fact that you’re no está bien.