Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Plug for Monsters University

The Cousins from the USVI are visiting and there's been days of nonstop fun and sleepovers and what we needed yesterday was to have them together, but more like Together, the Quiet Calm Version.  So we went to the movies. 

Monsters University didn't make crack me up as much as I expected, but there were some important plot points I appreciated (I'm overlooking the fact that few of the main characters were female and those few weren't well developed and fairly stereotypical) and which defied the usual "happy ending" pattern of the feel-good children's story/movie.

(Spoiler alert!)

The movie revolves around a competition our underdog Monsters team has to win to both maintain their college admissions and earn some elusive respect.  Along the way, there's emphasis on teamwork, on the value of hard work, and on seeing past first impressions and society's definition of cool.  But when cheating is employed as a strategy to clinch the title, and our protagonists endure the dire consequences, I kept expecting the powers that be to change their minds and restore our heroes' hopeful futures.  Because that's what happens--actually pretty often--in real life, in what's often justifiably characterized as a Second Chance.

But you know what?  There was no such reprieve for our main Monsters.  The end of the movie shows them dusting themselves off, heading off to the workforce they hoped to enter at the top of the heap, and working their way up the ladder incrementally from the mailroom to custodial staff to cafeteria servers...and finally, to the positions they always dreamed of.  There are hints that they've distinguished themselves along the way by putting their humble hearts, souls, and personalities into their work to reach their goals.

Accept due consequences.  Take accountability.  Don't dwell or pity yourself.  Don't give up.  Find another way; work hard; prove yourself.

I deem those rad messages for our youth (and maybe good reminders for all of us adults, too, when we're feeling entitled). 


Kiara Downey said...

Did you stay for the very end - when the slug finally makes it to class? Funniest part of whole movie!

Marisa Reichardt said...

Rad indeed.