JT got a bee in his bonnet about a month ago to watch this movie. I hadn't been paying much attention to the trailers or to how it did in the box office so I put it on the Netflix que in hopes of giving it a quick preview before showing it to the family. JT beat me to it and we ended up watching it together one night. The copy we got from Netflix turned out to be full of scratches and a real frustration but even at that we suffered through because JT was just getting so much out of it that it was hard for me to turn it off. Always the pragmatist, JT generally has a running commentary through any movie - but particularly cartoons or fantasy - about the impossibilities of every scene. I noticed about a third of the way through this one that he was conspicuously quiet.
The story centers around a 12 year old boy named Lewis who is left at the doorstep of an orphanage as an infant and we now see him 12 years later in a desperate struggle to gain an adoptive family before he becomes a teenager. The trouble is, Lewis is a bright and eccentric inventor who continually alienates people with his latest and greatest tributes to science. Through a long, twisted series of events Lewis ends up content with his lot in life without the need to find out about his birthmother when he realizes that the place he most belongs is right smack in the middle of an extraordinarily eccentric family full of crazy characters where his own eccentricities make him not only happy, but wildly successful.
Sound familiar? I think JT thought so. We begged our neighbor to track down the copy of it they bought for Christmas and had yet to watch so we could have it handy. JT has watched it a handful of times since and still can't seem to get enough of this story. We're sometimes leary of adoption stories because so many of them center around the angst and unknowing of adoptive children. This one made it perfectly ok to be different, to not necessarily have all the answers and to fit into a family that is different in everyone's eyes. If we were going to write a movie to help JT feel like he fit into our family better, we couldn't have done it better than this. Sometimes God just sends a windfall our way...
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