So why did I not love the Lego Movie?
I couldn't figure it out. I sat there amidst a theater audience full of little kids and grown-ups all equally immersed in glee while I waited for the magic to start. And I waited. And I waited.
In truth I was bored.
For anyone who hasn't yet seen the Lego Movie and is planning to, here might be a good time to stop reading, as I may be stepping into spoiler territory.
But then, as those of you who've seen the movie know, the story took a sudden turn and my attention piqued.
Ah, now this is interesting, thought I. But ultimately it was too little too late for me, and what I thought might have been a thought-provoking story centered around Legos was never developed, but rather just used as a quick contrived gimmick to wrap the thing up.
Which didn't seem to lessen anyone else's enjoyment of the film.
Now, I can understand the kids loving this movie. I mean, it was a kids' movie, right? Lots of colors, lots of toys, simplistic dialogue and plot line. But why, I asked myself, were adults swooning over it? Or, more precisely, why was I not swooning over it?
Then, on the way out of the theater, it hit me:
I could make no emotional connection to the Lego Movie because I had no emotional connection to Legos. But the others did.
I heard it on the way out of the theater: kids chattering excitedly about which of the Legos sets used in the movie they owned, which sets they now wanted to acquire, and how, as one little girl exclaimed, "This movie makes me want to start playing with my Legos!" Which had to be music to her mother's ears.
Because, the truth is, American parents love Legos. They buy the sets by the truckload for their children because Legos are, I don't know, probably educational, mind-engaging, creative, sturdy, good for small motor development, and probably a whole lot more.
And they're 'way expensive. Which is why my children never had Legos. I never bought them any.
Oh, I intended to. I was one of these mothers who took a holistic view of my children's education: what they learned in school I believed, was only part of it, and not always the most important part. So of course I intended for them to have Legos.
Until I went to the store to buy some and saw the price. Truly, I was blown away! One insignificant little set with more doo-dads than building blocks was up over ten dollars - and that was well over twenty-five years ago. To acquire any meaningful quantity of Legos would have cost close to $100!
And so I never bought any Legos. My kids had to play with generic, non-charismatic building materials.
The end result being that as I watched the Lego Movie I experienced no positive association or transferrence with what I was seeing on the screen. There was no nostalgia, no remembrance of things past or connection to things presents blossoming in my brain. So, unlike my fellow audience members, I saw not a witty, engaging film. Just a very effective advertisement for Legos.