Friday, October 27, 2006

Little Children

I've had a few e-mails lately asking if I've seen Little Children. The answer is, unfortunately, no, and given the current state of my life (you know, kids, work, etc.), there's no guarantee that I'll be able to take a look in time to give a meaningful review. All I can tell you is that the reviews have been uniformly positive, and the fact that one of the main characters is an at-home dad has prompted pretty close to no discussion about fathers as primary caregivers.

In short, both the movie and the reviews appear to play this straight: there's an at-home dad character, and it's no big deal (until he starts sleeping with an at-home mom, etc. etc.). That's progress, given where we were a scant 23 years ago.

I *did* read the book, and I found it to be good-enough look at suburbia, asking a lot of interesting what-if questions (what if he kissed that woman under the swings? what if a sex offender moved in?). I'm sure it's was probably relatively easy to adapt to the screen -- not a lot of deep character background or difficult-to-film inner turmoil. And the book's author, Tom Perotta, gets credit for actually experiencing the world he's writing about: he did a stint as an at-home dad, so the settings -- if not the character's actions -- ain't entirely imaginary.

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