The movie your kids NEED to see ASAP

I saw the preview months ago. And I immediately wanted to see this movie. And not just because Julia Roberts was in it. I mean I grew up on Pretty Woman and Steel Magnolias and Mystic Pizza, so when I saw her mesmerizing face in the preview, I was like yessssss. But then I saw a different face. A very different face. And I knew this movie was going to be special. So I impatiently waited MANY months for it to come out, and then it finally did.

ME: Zoey, we’re going to the movies today. You’re going to LOVE this movie.

ZOEY: What is it?

ME: It’s called Wonder and it’s about a boy named Auggie who looks a little different.

ZOEY: How does he look different?

ME: Umm, his face is shaped a little different than most people’s.

ZOEY: Is it freaky? I don’t want to go if it’s going to freak me out.

ME: Zoey, that’s not nice. No matter what someone looks like, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. You know that.

ZOEY: I know, but if it’s really freaky it might give me nightmares. Show me the preview.

ME: Okay. But we’re going to see it. No matter what you think because you can’t judge a person by how they look.

So I showed her the preview and wanna know what she said?

ZOEY: He’s not that bad looking.

Sigh. Because that’s not what it’s about. I don’t want her to think he looks okay. I want her to look past how he looks and see what really matters. So I showed her a different picture. Remember this guy? The one the pope hugged a few years back.

ZOEY: Ewwwww, what’s wrong with him?

ME: Zoey, that’s NOT what matters. Think about it. Underneath all of those bumps is a person just like you. And he might be a really nice good person. And he has feelings so when you say ewwww, it hurts him.

ZOEY: Okay.

I didn’t expect her to completely get it, but I wanted to at least try.

So we went to see Wonder. And it was even more amazing than I thought it would be. We watched. We laughed. We fell in love with the little boy Auggie. And at the end the end, I couldn’t help it. I blinked and blinked and blinked, but I couldn’t turn off the faucet and the tears brimmed over.

And then my favorite part in the entire movie happened. Don’t worry, I’m NOT spoiling anything. I swear!!!! So as I’m sitting there crying and kicking myself for not bringing tissues, I remembered that I had a wad of napkins sitting next to me in the cup holder so I reached to take one out and the rest of them fell onto the floor. Whoops. But there was a boy sitting next to me. He was probably about eleven-years-old. I’d barely noticed him throughout the movie, until now. Because guess what he did? He reached down, picked up the napkins, handed them to me and whispered, “Don’t worry, my mom’s crying too.”

“Thanks,” I choked out.

OMG. An eleven-year-old boy said this!!! How awesome is that?

But I’m not surprised. Wonder is a movie that will make people do nice things. I’m not saying he wouldn’t have done it anyway. This was obviously an awesome kid to begin with. But I truly believe this movie is going to change the way children act.

And then the credits rolled and we left. I made sure to tap the boy on the shoulder on the way out and just tell him quietly, “That was a really nice thing you did.” I would have told his mom too but I couldn’t reach her, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t need me to tell her that her kid is awesome. She knows.

And later that night as I was putting Zoey to bed, we had a conversation.

ME: Are you excited to go back to school tomorrow?

ZOEY: Yes. (pause) Mom, what if Auggie came to our school?!

ME: That would be cool.

ZOEY: It would be SO EXCITING. Because I’m just like him. We like the same things, and we both have siblings and sometimes we fight with our siblings but we always come back together after, and he likes Star Wars and science and so do I…

And she kept talking and talking and talking, but she never once mentioned what he looks like.

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9 responses to “The movie your kids NEED to see ASAP

  1. love it! I’d like to take my kids to see it!

  2. I took my kids to see it last week. They went moaning and groaning because it wasn’t a cartoon movie, but they loved it and we had a great discussion about its themes afterwards. We are reading the book now, and it’s funny because they noticed all the scenes in the book that are not in the movie. My kids are 8 and 5, and it’s amazing to me how they remember this stuff.

  3. You should read the book! Or, listen to the audiobook (hint, I found it on YouTube). There are so many more details that enhance your experience from the movie
    .

  4. The movie was great but read the book! It was so much better.

  5. I am so glad you posted about this. I took my son, who is 9, to see it this weekend too. We loved it. I had never heard of the book or the movie until my son urged me to read the book last month. The book is wonderful of course because of its obvious message of “choose kindness,” but also because for once the main protagonist is not a tragic figure a la “Mask” or “The Elephant Man.” Auggie very rarely engages in self-pity. I agree, this movie should be required viewing and the book should be required reading in schools. Keep up the good work of showcasing relevant topics.

  6. I don’t know. I’m sort of ambivalent about it due to the fact that it promotes a special-needs kid being an inspiring hero and so brave, just because he’s got his condition. I’m not so sure I want to instill in my daughters the idea that they’re brave just for being special-needs kids. Being brave is certainly a positive quality, but they need to understand they have to actually DO something, rather than just BE something, to achieve it.

    Just a different perspective from the special-needs community.

    • Did you see it and have that reaction Sara? Or is that just based on the previews? I ask because when I watched him in the movie, I felt like he actually DID a lot.

      • I do have to admit I haven’t seen it. But there’s been a LOT of discussion about it in the special-needs community, and a couple critics who HAVE seen it dissected it. But we could always be wrong. I’d like to be, actually.

        • I believe overcoming bullies and going back to face the hard things every day IS doing something. I have a daughter with a craniofacial disorder and I do spent lots of time worrying what will happen once she goes into the public school. I believe it isn’t just about Auggie’s special needs that makes him a hero, it’s how he gets through it. He accepts help from peers around him and even when the other kids are pushing him down and making fun of him, he gets up and goes back. Any kid being bullied can learn from this, not just special needs kids. But, I believe kids with out special needs can see this movie and learn to not judge and to be open minded. We are all people. There’s so many wonderful messages in this movie and I definitely recommend seeing it.

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