Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bridge to Terabithia

I've been anticipating the arrival of the film version of the Newbery Award Winning novel to our local theater since it went into wide release a month ago.

The book was released in 1977 and I didn't become aware of it until recently, when we were unpacking our book boxes and I stumbled upon it at the bottom of a fiction pile. S' brother had given her a copy years ago, since it was one of his favorite angst-filled teen-years books - he's a literary generation behind my wife and I.

The strange name in the title got me to open the book, a quick glance at the first page turned into an hour of reading, and by the end of a busy day I managed to finish this wonderful novel.

As with many books that are a little too lengthly for reading with the girls, I encapsulated the story, taking out the more mature situations, and used the tale as bedtime storytelling fodder for my 7-year old. Previous incarnations of these types of nighty-night tales include A Wrinkle in Time, Holes, Charlotte's Web, Ring of Bright Water, and the Tales of King Arthur (more like the Monty Python version, but it works well in spoken form).

While S bought popcorn and snacks, I amused myself by watching several groups of families go their separate cinematic ways in the foyer - fathers went into Theater 1 (Wild Hogs), mothers went into Theater 2 (Music and Lyrics), grandparents and kiddies escorted my family and I into the third and smallest theater.

Not to give away any movie spoilers, but when the pivotal event of the 2nd act occurs, it illicited tears from my wife, snores from my 4-year old (darkened theaters make her nap), and knowing sighs from C.

Later she told me that the "girl in the movie looked just like in your story, Daddy," but that she herself felt "a lot sadder to watch the movie than to hear my story."

"Daddy filter" is engaged and will remain in place until...forever.

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