Retro Rental: Annie

It's Retro Rental time! What's Retro Rental, you ask? Well, first of all, let’s be honest -- as busy parents, we often find ourselves half-asleep in a movie theater watching (okay, missing) the newest film release. We’re texting the babysitter while munching on popcorn or preoccupied by well-rested couples on dates. Why do we torture ourselves? A family movie night can be enjoyed by everyone if you turn to the hit movies we all loved as children. No, the Avatar-like effects aren't there, but many have stories that still resonate, whether you were born in the '60s or the '80s or just a few years ago. 

Watching Annie for the first time with your daughter is a rite of passage; like a father taking his son to his first ball game.  Having your sweet girl go gaga over the film is as electrifying as Dad watching his son catch a foul ball.  Unfortunately, seeing the movie bore your daughter to tears equates to... well,utter disappointment! 

This was not a haphazard viewing.  I’ve waited to rent this movie for some time.  I wanted my daughter to be ready, to be prepared for the joy of learning the words to "Tomorrow" or reinacting "It's a Hard Knock Life" with a broom. I now realize that perhaps 5-years-old is too young for a first Annie viewing, as my daughter seemed completely uninterested in the flick. She was unimpressed by the forthright orphan Annie with the "ugly" red hair and "yucky" dog, Sandy. Perhaps it's because girls today are used to female leads being beautiful hip starlets like Miley Cyrus, animated divas like the Bratz and Barbie Princesses, and so watching the quirky Annie  was a bit of a yawn.

For me, it was a trip down memory lane. Annie was the first Broadway show my parents took me to see. Our horizons were broader back then. We didn’t need every film to have flashy stars, 3D graphics or CGI.  We paid attention to stories and appreciated a good show tune.  My son actually enjoyed the movie; he thought the mansion was amazing and the story had enough action and anticipation to hold his attention.  Now, I just need to go catch a foul ball with my daughter at a major league game and we’ll be even.


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