I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Most of our entertainment tells young men that you are either violent, emotionless, and/or stupid. We can talk more about why this is later, but I wanted to give you at least one movie that is taking a different approach.
My family and I went to see Peanuts this weekend and loved it. The blend of modern and vintage was right on the mark; and the storyline was perfect.
I’m not sure how familiar you are with the character, Charlie Brown. I grew up reading the comic strips about him in the newspaper and watching his Halloween movie every year, but most of you are younger than I am, so perhaps you don’t know him as well.
For any of you who aren’t familiar with him, Charlie Brown is a school aged kid who messes up and gets embarrassed a lot. He gets teased (and arguably bullied) regularly, by a girl. He’s not a great student or a great athlete. He’s bald and probably not very handsome, although he’s a cartoon so it’s hard to say for sure.
We laugh at Charlie Brown a lot, but not because he’s a fool. We laugh because, male or female, we can see ourselves in him and we know exactly what he’s going through. We actually like Charlie Brown, a lot. We always have.
Yes, Charlie Brown makes a lot of mistakes and has a lot of humiliating experiences and sees himself as fitting right in with all the foolish male characters we see reflected in modern day media, but the audience doesn’t. The audience sees someone charming and endearing despite, or perhaps because of, his short comings.
And that’s the brilliance of Peanuts. It makes us laugh, like all comedies, but it brings out our smiles without belittling anyone. The story and the characters invite us in, show us a reflection of ourselves, and send us home feeling better than we did before.
Definitely worth your time.