A PSA or Parental Service Announcement.
Before we get to my son’s insights on The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, we need to review proper theater etiquette. I am a huge Lego nerd and my enjoyment of the film was significantly diminished by people who have apparently never been to a movie before. The theater experience for a movie rated higher than PG is slightly different than a movie aimed at kids, because you adjust your tolerance for misbehaving audience members. Kids are usually going to laugh harder and more frequently than adults and may even ask their parents multiple questions during the film, including about the food and drinks they have or want. Please, parents, answer them. If you don’t, they will just keep asking. We are all okay with this. We will not give you nasty looks. Probably. Here are some other guidelines for remembering that you and your children are not the only people walking the Earth (or watching a movie).
- Do not turn your cell phone on during the movie ever, ever, ever, everevereverever.
Every single advanced screening I attend features an agency representative warning us about pulling out our cell phones. So, what the hell was so important during the Lego Movie 2 that a woman near me needed to turn her phone on during the climax of the film? The kicker is she is a member of the press, a movie critic, like I am. Are you kidding me? Were you bored by the exceedingly entertaining movie you got to watch for free? Do you hate Legos? Were you secretly testing theater security to see if they follow through on their warnings to evict cell phone jerks? If anyone should know better, it is the press. Act like you’ve been there before.
- If your kid is not watching the movie, leave.
Let’s be honest: when you bring kids with you to an animated film, you are not attending it for yourself. And if, halfway through the movie, your kid does not want to be there, forcing them to remain is only going to cause misery for you and everyone around you. There will not be an empty space in your soul if you do not get to see how the colorful pixels resolve their conflict. You are not teaching them some valuable life lesson. This goes for the zoo, ice-capades, Disney World, sporting events, and certain family members’ houses (this is not a complete list). The little girl behind me in the theater spent much of the movie roaming back and forth in front of her family’s seats, kicking my seat, using my seat as a crutch, jumping up and down, and babbling about things. After several angry glares on my part at her mother, they still didn’t leave the theater. I love kids, but I was thiiiis close to explaining to a four-year-old how her mommy secretly hated her.
- If your kid is doing anything you would scold them for in church or a restaurant, leave the theater (if only temporarily) and apologize to everyone on your way out.
The apology is the most important part. If you let everyone know how sorry you are, we know you are a good parent and decent person and your kid is probably just having a bad day or is just being a normal kid. We forgive both of you and, please, drive home safe. If you do not apologize, you are forever marked as a bad parent and terrible human. We forgive the kid (though he/she might now be on our watch list), but not you, and, please, drive home safe (we’re not monsters). Though, we are hoping your kid decides to empty the remaining gallon and a half of their Coke on the floor of your car.
- Laugh at a reasonable volume.
This is a little more of a personal pet peeve, but it still applies. If your laugh sounds like someone is tickling a donkey, nobody (including you) can hear the dialogue immediately following the joke. Especially not the dozens of little kids in the theater (and adjacent theater). I am talking to you, lady near me with an inhuman laugh. Your daughter sitting next to you just missed ten seconds of the movie (at least a dozen times) as you brayed like a jet fighter. What’s that? You can’t hear me? I rest my case.
I am sure there are more rules, but these are the ones that were violated on this particular occasion. Otherwise, I thought the movie was great, it should keep both parents and kids entertained, and will have you saying you might have just seen a great sequel. Now, here is what a six-year-old thought.
What’s the movie we saw?
The Lego Movie 2.
Is that the whole title?
The Second Part.
Do you think it’s funny that they called it The Second Part after the 2?
Who was in the movie from the last movie?
Batman. Green Lantern. WyldStyle. Emmett.
Who was new this time?
The raptors. And Rex.
What were the raptors doing?
What were they all doing in the movie? What was queen Whatevra doing?
Why did she want to marry Batman, and not Emmett?
Because Batman had a shiny shirt on, and Emmett just has a work shirt on. And that’s not so interesting.
What was Emmett trying to do?
Be like Rex.
What was your favorite part of the movie?
Um, I dunno. It was so funny.
Okay, what was the funniest part of the movie?
The song that gets stuck in your head. [singing]
This song’s gonna get stuck inside your this song’s gonna get stuck inside your heeeeeeeaaaaaaaad
Do you think parents will like the move?
What do you think parents will like the most about the movie?
The weights and the stuff that the raptors did.
Was the movie funny all the way through?
Yes. …but I remember that Green lantern has a great singing voice. And the house ship.
Where did Emmett fly his house ships to?
The meteor asteroids.
Who is your favorite character?
Because she’s awesome. [singing] everything is not awesome…..
Did they sing a song that everything is NOT awesome?
They’re in a band with all the Legos that they built in the house. And actually my favorite part – my real favorite part – was when their mom steps on the Legos and was like EEEEEEEk!
Why should people go watch the Lego movie?
I bet they’d love it.
Was it better than the first, the same, or not as good?
Better. Because it’s more funny.
When you leave the theater, do you think it’s worth the money you paid?
Would you spend your own money on it?
No? Whose money would you spend?
Rating: Don’t ask for any of your mom’s money back.