Friday, September 16, 2011

In Defense of "Despicable Me"

So the other day we were experiencing technical difficulties with the DVD player and the bonus features on "Despicable Me", which is Caleb's current favorite movie.

Yes mother of the year here lets her 2 year old watch tv even tho the American Academy of Pediatrics says not to. But if they'd like to come play with my kid so I can get the kitchen clean then they can knock themselves out doin that.

But I digress... SO, problem with movie, so of course I Google and I discover this Pro-Adoption website ( which was seriously anti-"Despicable Me". They claimed that the movie depicts the orphans as dirty and shameful and bad and that the guy takes the kids, uses them and then sends them back when he's done.  They say anybody who cares about adoption should NOT see this movie.

........... I almost don't know where to start so we'll just dive right in and hope it comes out quasi-coherently.

1. If you don't think "Despicable Me"is laugh out loud funny you should remove the stick from your butt and try watching it again.

2. I LOVE adoption. I love it like I love cake. I'd need to use several other peoples thumbs in addition to my own in order to give the required numbers of thumbs ups that I'd need to START to express how much I think adoption is a beautiful, wonderful, amazing thing. No I am not adopted, nor is my son. However, my sister placed a baby for adoption when she was 16 and I've got several friends/relatives who have both adopted children and placed children. I donate my time and my jewelry to the Birth Mother Pamper Night of the local adoption support group, for several years now.

So I like to think I'm at least slightly more qualified than the average bear to venture an opinion here.

3. I personally did not think for one minute that this movie conveyed anything negative about being an orphan. Or rather that there was anything wrong with the kids themselves. You do get kind of an 'Oliver-esque' feel to their lives. A lot of the adults in the movie are depicted very negatively. Mrs. Hattie is just horrible. Gru's Mom is the reason he's a villain. Dr. Nephario is the reason Gru ever gives the girls back. And Gru himself starts off as so evil its just plain comedic.

But the catalyst for good in this movie, the thing that causes Gru's heart to change and for every last person in this movie (except maybe Miss Hattie) to become good and wonderful - is having those beautiful little girls in their lives. Through this adoption, which admittedly Gru only ever does so he can use them to further and evil scheme, he unwittingly invites into his life the people who are going to make it worth living.

These orphans are depicted as good and sweet and funny and real. And it shows how beautiful little spirits brought into your home can change your whole world for the better. I'd even give it bonus points for showing a positive adoption of older kids, instead of just babies.

Yes its done in a funny way. Yes, Gru does at one point give them up. But he gets them back and says that he so sorry and that it is the worst mistake he ever made. He loves these girls and they love him. He becomes the parent he wishes he had.

So before you go off half cocked and shun this movie thinking its bad, I ask you to watch it with an open mind. You can come back and tell me I'm wrong (I'll tell you to remove stick and try again, but you can do it).

I think its one of the best movies I've seen in years and I'm happy to let my kiddo watch it and I only let that kid watch PBS Kids for a couple hours in the mornings. And I don't buy very many movies and I bought this as soon as it came out. Its that good.

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