(Clicking the star will take you to the trailer)
I know I’m super late to this party. However, in this part of the world Ramadan was happening when the movie first came out. During Ramadan, no new movies start playing. Then I was in Brazil for a month and the movie was only offered dubbed in Portuguese. My Portuguese is just not that strong. Fortunately it was still playing here when I got back to the sandbox.
Because everyone saw it before I did I knew I would cry. And did. Multiple times. The main characters of the movie are the emotions of an 11-year old girl named Riley who is uprooted from her home in Minnesota and planted in San Francisco. The emotions are Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). I don’t think they could have picked better voices for these emotions.
Like any Disney * Pixar movie, there is a lot thrown in just for the adults. I was the only person in the theater laughing a few times, but since I don’t embarrass I’m okay with that. At one point Sadness breaks down entirely and starts crying. Joy is concerned about the effect Sadness is having on Riley so she tries to make her stop. Sadness replies, “Crying helps me slow down and obsess over the weight of life’s problems.” It makes you laugh because if you don’t you’ll cry.
The movie really forces the adults who watch it to think back about their own lives some. I wondered a lot where my imaginary friends went or if I even had them in the first place since I can’t recall them at all. It made me wish I spent more time in my imagination and in a place where more things seem possible and not like I’m trapped on a set path.
I remember reading that there wasn’t really a villain in the movie and it turned out to be true. Our emotions are a core part of us and what the movie ultimately shows is that while we may not want them around, Sadness, Anger, Fear, and Disgust play complex roles in our lives. They weave together to create lives that are rich and full of meaning.
Like with Toy Story 3, I am sure that I will cry every time I watch it. But it’s a joyful sadness.
If you haven’t already seen it, rent it when it comes out. It’s a really good reminder that we can get our emotions to work for us instead of allowing them to work against us.