I haven’t seen it yet, might wait until closer to Christmas, but there are a lot of reviews on social media commenting on how sad and/or boring it is compared to the first. There are also plenty of positive reviews which is awesome to see. But perhaps we should go into it remembering the first one was made in ’83 when the main characters were children. Now they are adults, the overall mood and tone has to reflect what it means to be an adult – a constant mixture of contentment, triumph, with a whole lot of pain mixed in.
Also, the two films are set during time periods where, quite frankly, it was a lot easier and a lot more common to see precocious, explorative, humorous, and adventure-seeking children. Most parents knew how to raise their children to become precocious, productive, and self-sufficient individuals. Nobody had to constantly walk on eggshells because most people didn’t scare or offend so easily and we weren’t constantly glued to screens. We’re not there anymore.
I have a sense that this new film is meant to be more a drama that anyone can relate to rather than a comedy. Most of the generation who grew up with this movie as a holiday staple are now in their 40’s and 50’s. And what’s middle age without continuous laughter through despair? I am looking forward to seeing how this was done. I think no matter what, from a story writer’s perspective, it’s going to be hard to not appreciate its objective at the very least. I am relieved to see this story continue to grow because once we’re gone and our kids reach our age, all of the magic this story gave to us could very well disappear. I’d rather watch the Bumpus hounds tear through my house while my tongue gets ripped off a frozen flag pole than see that happen.
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