My children love the Star Wars series. My toddler begged and pleaded for me to take them to see The Force Awakens in the theaters. She was unhappy with the notion of waiting months for the film to be released for download. I was hesitant to take her. Some of the Star Wars movies have been among the highest grossing movies of all-time. I don’t ever take my very young children to packed theaters to wait in line for hours. But alas, today, we had no plans and I caved!
My reaction to The Force Awakens: I don’t want to get into the debate concerning J.J. Abrams execution of the film except to say, it was aesthetically appropriate. He choice to use film was smart, and gelled the present movie perfectly with the original films. Being this review is for parents concerned with their children’s ability to sit through the film without incident in theaters, I am going to focus on my children’s reaction.
From a child’s point of view: Despite getting to the theater earlier than I like, my toddler was content and happy to sit and watch the film for its entirety. My baby, enjoyed the movie and sat without movement until the last 30 minutes. We did not need to leave, but she stopped watching the movie and buried her head into my shoulder, then kissed me continuously and played with a baby doll the remainder of the time. My recommendation, only take children 4+ and only if they are have had a previous interests in the other films. Live action can be a tough category for very young children. The storyline of the seventh movie wasn’t as fanciful as the others, and my children, who love the whole series, were less captivated than the with the other six movies in the series. My toddler did state that The Force Awakens “was a little more boring than the others.” The other children in the theater were quiet, but there was an air of restlessness, a lot of movement, nothing that disturbed the other watchers, but I sat in the highest seats and there were many little ones quietly moving around interested in other things.
My final thoughts: If you think your child has the potential to enjoy the film, go! If you’re on the fence and your child isn’t already a Star Wars buff, wait until it is released for download. I think due to the lack of “trash-can beings” and fewer creatures present in the film, very small children maybe less dazzled to sit for over 2 hours. All the above being said, I know we will watch it again and again in our home.
I am not a movie reviewer, a film buff, or well versed in cinema history. You do not want to read my movie reviews if you want a play-by-play of the technical insights of the cinematic experience or a smart rant by a “film snob.” I am, however, a mother of two very small children: a baby and a toddler. My children have seen every kids movie in the theaters since their birth. They love going to the theater, and my toddler always offers up her own review after. Not only will my reviews briefly discuss my feelings, but also my children’s reaction to the movie. These reviews may have a lot more to do with a child’s point of view than many others. Many times I have a very different reaction than my children. I am also usually alone, taking my children to the movies. I do not have a pen and paper, writing down my analysis as I watch. I experience the movie with a baby on my lap, a toddler seated next to me, doling out snacks, water and hugs as I watch.