I may be the only person I know who didn’t enjoy “Little Miss Sunshine.” The same movie studio produced a new film this summer, “The Way Way Back.” Naturally the film is being compared to LMS, but I like the characters in WWB much better. In LMS every character had some kind of goofy personality defect, but in WWB there were some characters whom are just believably struggling—and those are the ones who carry the story. Some reasons this film is worth seeing:
1. Don’t believe the people who try to convince you that you’re lesser than you think, even if couched as constructive criticism. Also, that the best revenge for these types of negative, critical people is to succeed despite them. Don’t cave in on yourself and let their judgements contribute to one’s low self-esteem. What happens when one can fuel frustration into action as opposed to self-defeating behavior?
2. No matter how dismaying or confusing your personal situation is, you can still contribute positively to another person’s life. Often times having a disappointing outcome in one’s own life opens a door into being able to feel empathy with others. Not that misery loves company, but because difficult life experiences allow us to authentically relate to and recognize another person’s struggles. And sometimes being there for another person can put our own troubles in perspective, or bring an unexpected joy to one’s life.
3. Being afraid that you can’t succeed on your own merits can trap a person in an untenable situation. Fear of being unlovable is one of the most common human fears. Fear of not being able to financially support one’s self is another. People often compromise their beliefs and/or values in order to stay in the “safe zone.” While it’s fully understandable why people do this, it often comes at a great cost to the individual. It take much bravery to risk facing these kinds of fears.
SPOILER ALERT: I’m guessing most people will leave this movie cheering for the kid. However, I’m cheering for the adults. Specifically the fun park manager and the mom. Both of these character exemplified the above points in different ways. The kid was great, don’t get me wrong. But as kids it’s part of the job to push the limits and explore new territory, but for adults to realize their issues and to take risks and grow in spite of that—that behavior deserves extra commendation.