I just got back from going to see Dolphin Tale. As soon as I was settled in and watching the movie, I thought, "Why, oh why, do I not go to more kids' movies?" Almost every preview made me laugh. The movie itself made me laugh and cry. Maybe I am an old sap.
This film was human. It was tender. In this tweeting, texting, surfing, iPod-ing iPad-ing world of ours, do we still have room for tenderness? Or is there only room to think in 140 characters or less? What is it about tenderness that makes people squirm? Why can't we enjoy inspirational true stories? I realized just watching the previews -- wearing silly 3D glasses and looking at my friends in their silly 3D glasses -- that I laughed more and had more fun than I had at any movie I have seen lately.
That doesn't mean I haven't liked the "adult" movies. It's just that we are getting way too (intensely) serious, way too (profoundly) worried, way too (immensely) concerned, way too (ridiculously) adversarial, way too "adult". While all the worry and tragedy goes on, there are acts of inspiration, giving and yes, tenderness.
This movie, which is based on a true story, is a reminder that miracles happen every day.
The main character is a boy who transforms from being withdrawn and depressed, ultimately gaining his sense of purpose and value when he works to free the dolphin from a fishing trap and then, follows his passion from that day forward. He, along with the other characters, display unconditional care for the mammal and the audience sees them create a specially made prosthesis for her tail.
I couldn't help but have the sense of being carried myself, while watching medical caretakers and the main character carry the injured dolphin in water 24/7 because she couldn't swim. By sheer genius, the development of new prosthetic materials to replace her tail and specially created for the dolphin's comfort, has contributed also to more comfort in the wear of prostheses by many people with amputations.
Here's the scene that moved me to full-blown tears. A toddler with one leg bounces out of a car at Clearwater Marine Hospital to see the dolphin. Why and how did that get to me? The story breathes transformation and is all about rising to the occasion.
We are all children, and have been children to someone. We've all seen the goodness that comes out in humanity during crises: 9-11, Katrina, the volcanoes and earthquakes around the world, the crying out in joy when trapped miners are brought up from below the earth.
Inspiration isn't sappy. It is real.
What if we really allowed ourselves to enjoy life, to laugh more -- and to see more inspirational movies? What if we took some time off, even if it is just two hours to enjoy a children's movie? What could be wrong with that? Inspiration will present itself when witnessing the best in human nature.
If we all saw more children's movies, maybe we would have hope, treat each other more with kindness, have balance in our lives and more peace. Yes, more peace. I loved laughing, crying and being a sap. It turned on more creativity, and productivity by being with friends and experiencing something uplifting than spending too much time worrying about the economy or wandering on the internet.
Take a moment to go catch a children's flick. Put down the iPad, computer, Facebook, Twitter and relax for a minute. Laugh. Get out of the worry. Because balancing life with uplift is healthy. What comes out of it, a pause in life like this, may be more productivity, better relationships, clearer thinking and actions and thus, more income, coming from a greater connection with creativity and the stuff we are made of. I'm a new believer in going to children's movies. Why not?