Coming of Age movie bonanza

I've had a good run of movies lately, something that rarely happens to me; my usual pattern is something like pretty good, dud, dud, liked it, dud, ah! this is why I watch movies, dud.  So to get three goodies in a row is a lot of sunshine and rainbows for me, a double bonus after the winter we've had.  Here's what I watched, thank you, Netflix.

What Maisie Knew.  First of all, she knew everything, and she shouldn't have had to.  They took Henry James and ran with it, all the way to fantastic, and I wanted to scratch Julianne Moore's eyes out (Steve Coogan deserved much, much worse).

The Spectacular Now.  Spectacular indeed, and I'm doubly glad I saw it before Shailene Woodley exploded onto big screens everywhere.  But it was Miles Teller who really took off with the prize, one drink at a time, and did the novel proud, some say prouder.

Ruby Sparks.  You could feel the love between these two from several states away, but the best part was Paul Dano's writer acting like a real writer and wanting love so badly that he created it.

All "small" movies, two based on books, so those should be lessons to me, right?  Not so easy, friend, since I've seen so many duds in both those categories (The World's End, alienation from you hometown NOT, or The Golden Compass, couldn't be more shallow, could go on here all day, but that's another post). 

What did I like about these?  They were real people, people who grew and changed and learned and shone out from their hearts to reach mine.  And I do like "big" movies, too, with Ironman and Fast & Furious coming to mind, and I dare you to tell me that those don't have real characters.  Not coming of age, I realize, but maybe Robert Downey, Jr. and Paul Walker never will, RIP.

Yes, I know they aren't really real, but to a reader and a writer, characters are sometimes more real than the people I know in "real" life.  We could go down the what is real path, but perhaps we'll save that for another day.  Today I'm happy with the sunshine and rainbows.


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