The Film Mom is a weekly column about family entertainment for parents with kids (and kids with parents) by Tara McNamara, the editor and founder of KidsPickFlicks.com.
For better or worse, The Twilight Saga is over. The kids from Forks brought in more than $3.3 billion at the box office, which means one thing: the race is on in Hollywood to find the next big fantasy romance. Over the next few weeks, the multiplex will see the first two offerings and, as the mother of a tween girl, I’m holding my breath that the movies will be more Chivalrous Edward than Pouty Bella.
By subbing out brain-eating zombies for vegan vampires, this week's Warm Bodies is what you might call Twilight for boys. Both films revolve around an against-all-odds romance where a human and a member of the undead fall in love. But, unlike brooding vampires and shirtless werewolves, zombies are monsters that boys can identify with. Zombies barely move, aren’t concerned about fashion and will eat anything; let’s face it, zombies probably spend their free time playing video games. And in the case of Warm Bodies, our hero doesn’t fall in love with his victim’s girlfriend. Instead, love is a byproduct of brain-eating – along with the protein, he ingests the victim’s memories and feelings.
Coming much closer to the Twilight format is Beautiful Creatures, in theaters Feb. 15, which simply switches the roles of our supernatural Romeo and Juliet. Like Bella, Lena is the new girl in a small town. But in this scenario, the boy who falls for her is the mortal and Lena is the one with magical powers who, upon her 16th birthday, will find out if she’s good or evil. Movies that capture the imaginations of our tweens and teens hold magical powers as well: the ability to inform impressionable youth how to act and what to expect in affairs of the heart. Let’s hope moviemakers choose to use their power for good, not evil.
Here are three movies you can see with your kids this weekend:
Warm Bodies. This zombie love story is really about the power of human connection, but don’t worry about steamy scenes (ewww): it’s rated PG-13 for “zombie violence and some language.
Monsters, Inc. 3D. Monster love takes another form when top scarer James P. “Sully” Sullivan gets the warm fuzzies for the human 2-year-old he’s protecting.
Parental Guidance. Why is parenting so challenging? Because the rules of raising kids keep changing! Billy Crystal gives us a multi-generational comedy that will make every family member laugh out loud.
To find out what kids – and parents – think about these movies, go to KidsPickFlicks.com, where all kids are movie critics.