Number of kids (in movie): 4
Number of kids (watching movie): 3
Number of interruptions: 51
Greg has a ludicrous level of faith in Rotten Tomatoes - the critic and audience review aggregator - and won't watch anything with an approval rating lower than 80 per cent. I've often argued that we should form our own opinions. Who are these so-called critics? Do they share my interests or points of view? Art is subjective and not all films are for all people, etc. Four Kids and It has 50 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes - but answer me this: are any of the critics children? I rest my case.
There are lots of flaws with this film - the acting is questionable, the romance between the main couple is a bit too spicy for young kids, the ending is predictable and one of the 13-year-olds is called Smash. Do the film-makers really not know what smash means in young-speak?
But the film has something that only children can truly experience: Magic. Recently, our 7-year-old got an oversized soft unicorn for her birthday and last week, when the TV wasn't working, she rubbed the unicorn's horn on it, hopefully. Soon after, when we got it going again, the wonder in her eyes and her cries of "Mummy, Mummy, Layla's really, actually, magic!" would've melted the most bitter and blackened heart.
The premise of the film is that four children from two separate families are thrown together by parents who decide to surprise-tell them they're in a relationship by taking them away on a joint holiday - a truly terrible parenting decision. The loved-up and largely negligent parents leave the children to their own devices, which leads to the discovery of a sand-dwelling creature called a psammead who grants temporary wishes. What follows is the fulfillment of a series of wishes that mostly land the kids in hot water.
Russell Brand plays a creepy neighbour, mysteriously obsessed with what the children are up to and, despite his recent real-life turn as earnest armchair philosopher, he still knows how to deliver a decent joke. Michael Caine voices the cranky psammead - who's a less-than-endearing cross between ET and the Junk Lady from Labyrinth.
This year has been complete rubbish for children - no going to the movies, no birthday parties, no nose-picking, no lollipop sharing or trading lunches on the playground and any time they get the sniffles, a masked stranger wants to stick a probe up their nose. There's no need for grouchy old so-called critics like me to steal the short-lived twinkle in the little ones' eyes by crapping on a film that's not for us. Until Rotten Tomatoes includes some child-sourced reviews, they can shove their 50 per cent up their psammead.
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Fifty-one interruptions: watching Four Kids and It with Clara (5).
Why did she say: "There's a catch?"
What does "catch" mean?
Why is that sign going down?
Is the person who answered Robbie's wish "It"?
Why couldn't he answer?
Is she going back down?
Is the aeroplane going to take them there?
What does Smash wish?
Why is he looking for her?
Why is he joking?
Why are they running back?
Why did she say "tickets"?
Why didn't he grant her wish?
Dadda, do you know what this is on my foot?
Is that sunset or what?
Did she even make the cakes right?
Why isn't it showing that?
He probably can't see because they went back in time.
What happened to her?
Where are they now?
Can he not do magic without his beach?
Why did she left them?
Did she tell them?
She seriously told them?
So they're never going to grow up?
What just happened to him?
Why did he come out of the bathroom?
How is that moving with him?
Is this a real movie or a fake movie?
Why is he taking all of that stuff?
Because his beach is dirty?
Who are they?
How did he get a wish?
What are they trying to do?
What are they doing with those?
Do you know what they even are?
What happened to him?
Wait, why is there no more gold?
I know why he's alive: because of the sand.
Why are they bad parents?
So does he swim in sand?
Are voice mails phone calls?
Why does the psammead not want to see anyone in 100 years?
Why are they saying bad words?
So did they not wish the wish?
Afterwards, I asked all our children what they thought of the movie. Casper (3) said he liked the flying part. Tallulah (7) said "Good." Clara was silent.
Four Kids and It is in cinemas now.