Friday, May 26, 2006

Akeelah & the Bee

I must be going soft.
Yet another uplifting story of "triumph against all odds" has moved to sing its praises in this formulaic film. Sure, I could try to hide behind phrases like "charisma rules the day", and I could be referring to Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett or even the unknown prodigy Dakot--oops Keke Palmer...But that would leave out a host of fine actors that populate this disarming and charming film.
I wish I could say I wasn't the only one spelling along in the audience, but it was just me and my sister in the theatre and she doesn't spell.
She enjoyed the movie nearly as much as I, but the knowing what was coming at every turn spoiled it (somewhat) for her. Thank goodness I have Sammy Jenkins disease and watch films from the perspective of a bright but naive child...that doesn't remember "Coach Carter" or those darn Titans.
I could take the critical path and say things like "Angela Bassett is too beautiful to play the role" but that means we might not see her again if Hollywood waits for a film worthy of her beauty.
Another tack (aye matey) I could take would be noting that the best of the best of these spellers were minorities, Dillon, Javier, and Akeelah, and launch into a tirade against against the latest xenophobic immigration policy but that would sour the reading by my short sighted, no history knowing, (who made THE bomb they defend us using if not illegal German scientists?) conservative readers.
Bill Cosby would be proud of the Fishburne character who rails against the abuse of the English language..The lack of respect and decorum in these twisted times..And the movie shows us why he is right.<--deconstruct that Derrida! If I did that though it would belie Fishburne's exhortation in an earlier film: "Wake Up!"<--10 points if you name that film in comments.
See it. Love it. Play some speed Scrabble.
Remember, and take note, of all the ramifications of this comparison: the inner city is the new Sparta.

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