The BFG: The Fartiest, Funniest, Friendliest Giant
I have never been a huge Roald Dahl literary fan.
I like all of his books-turned-movies; but, I never really enjoyed the book version of his stories.
I know, weird.
The books are always better than the movies! Always!
But, I guess Roald is just not my jam.
The BFG was no different.
I have no less than three copies of that book tucked into various shelves and nooks and crannies in my home (I was a teacher, I have young kids, people give me free books all of the time, and I am a hoarder), and I never even cracked the spine on that one.
So, when I found myself inside of a theater this week screening the film, I swear I couldn’t think of a single F-word that made sense in a kids movie to crack that acronym.
I knew the F-word in my mind couldn’t be right (although it made sense when you thought about it) and none of the ones my children offered really fit either (fat, furry, ferocious, felonious).
But, now, having enjoyed a number of minutes in the presence of the giant brought to life by Steven Spielberg and the wonderful minds of Disney, Big Friendly Giant makes perfect sense.
Although so does funny, furry, and farty, if I’m honest.
SPOILER ALERT: The BFG
Growing up, epic ’80s movies like The Goonies, E.T., The Karate Kid gave me life — they inspired my play (seriously, I can’t tell you how much I begged for a basket on my bike so I could E.T.-it with my Cabbage Patch doll), they made me think, they gave me my very first crush (Daniel Larusso was bae and he always made it into my M.A.S.H. games).
There was just something about them. Their ability to connect with you, whomever you were, and make you feel all of the parts of the adventure from the comfort of your non-stadium seating theater in your teeny weenie town in the middle of nowhere where no extraterrestrials or hidden pirate ships or Cobra Kai’s will ever be found. They picked you up and took you on this fantasy with them where you learned something about yourself, about others, and about life.
With Spielberg at the helm, it’s no surprise that The BFG felt sorta like that.
Me being an adult who needed to snatch a nap between minutes 77 and 86 (it’s summer you guys; I’m exhausted from parenting) may have tainted my enthusiasm just a smidge; but, it’s of no consequence because I was coherent and engaged for all of the other 108 minutes of magic.
And, truly, it wasn’t about me.
Yes, this is a family film. And yes, humans old and young will enjoy laughing and crying and hoping and wishing with the girl and her giant. But, when I looked at my children smiling at the screen beneath their over-sized 3D glasses, I knew we had a winner.
While I cannot confirm that my eight-year-old’s laugh-til-he-cried over the fart scene was as funny and impactful as the ET-gets-drunk-and-Elliot-acts-a-fool scene that still makes me giggle when I think of it, I kinda feel like it was.
And, just like I left the theater thinking humans were the worst for imprisoning and nearly killing E.T., my eight-year-old had some pretty powerful words about bullying and difference and being brave following what he saw in The BFG.
It’s a movie that moves you, especially when you’re an eight-year-old, and that means it has the power to be gold.
Especially if you add in the humor (the farting you guys, so many tears over the farting), and the adventure, the wonder, and the magic, and the awesome only movies of today can even create with their science-y behind-the-scenes movie making stuff that they do.
You know, the stuff that makes the giant’s face and the magical land and the little dream fireflies (you’ll know what I mean if you go) look so incredibly real and in your face that my son reaches out to try and catch them, forgetting that he is just a kid in a movie theater with corny 3D glasses on his face.
I don’t consider myself much of a critic when it comes to movies — I can always find something to like, even if it’s just the opportunity to midday nap in a cool, dark room. So don’t expect me to give you any “didn’t likes” on this one.
It was endearing, engaging, entertaining, and funny, and my son’s LOLing was enough to convince me, and really all of the press people we watched it with (not kidding guys, they loved that he loved it and laughed because he was laughing), that it was a 5-star flick.
Added bonus? He actually came home, found one of those dusty copies of The BFG, and is already on chapter three of that bad boy.
So, in case my review wasn’t enough to get you in that theater this holiday weekend, how about this: take your kids to see The BFG and they’ll probably also want to read the book, giving you an easy summer mom-win that you can brag to your friends about.
The BFG opens in theaters July 1, 2016.