Sunday, July 29, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

You could classify Moonrise Kingdom as a romantic comedy but perhaps love story is a more accurate description. It certainly has story-book elements like an over-the-top narrator who is separate to the action and fancifully dressed, and a heroine who lives in a house whose rooms don't seem to have doors, like a doll-house.

Suzy and Sam
This is a love-story between twelve-year-olds. He (Sam) is a bespectacled state ward who's attending a scout summer camp on an island in New England. She (Suzy) is the slightly difficult oldest daughter of unusual parents who reside on the island in the multi-storey dollhouse. Having hatched a plan by mail (this story is set in 1965), they run away , which could alternatively be described as going camping together without permission. He brings a backpack containing sensible stuff like cookware and a tent and she brings her pet cat,   a portable record player and a suitcase containing half a dozen books.

They are pursued by the scout troop and the first time they're discovered there's a battle involving bows and arrows and scissors and they escape. The second time they're camping on the beach and the search party includes Suzy's parents, the island's only cop  and the scout master, all of whom are larger than life characters. In one of my favourite scenes, one of the adult lifts the tent and 2 young people in their underwear are revealed to the adults and an entire scout troop.

As a result of Sam's misdemeanours, his foster parents refuse to have him back which means the naughty boys home is probably the next destination for him and Suzy is taken home in disgrace. Luckily, this is not the end. The Scout troop comes to the rescue and reunites the couple and a mad-cap day ensues with a wedding, a lightning strike, a big storm, and a lady from Social Services arriving on the island. Like any good story it all turns out well in the end, but you'll have to go and watch to see how that pans out.

There's lots to like in this film. All the actors (adults and children) are great, and endearing for the most part. Suzy's parents often communicate by megaphone since they're often on different floors. Sam and Suzy don't fight. The scout master wakes up one morning to find ALL  his scouts missing. Sam and Suzy dance on the beach in their undies. It looks pretty and since all the action takes place over a couple of days it's fast-paced. And it's novel - when was the last time you saw a love story between twelve-year-olds?

Anne's rating 4/5 Ian's rating 4/5

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