Do you have any major plans for Labor Day weekend? Let me guess, you want to relax with a good book, but your kids are bugging you like crazy to take them to see One Direction: This Is Us -- sound about right? As I'm sure they've already drilled into your brain about 100 times, the film hits theaters across the U.S. today, and I'm guessing a lot of parents will wind up tagging along to see it just to make their little ones happy.
If that's the case, then let me be the first to tell you that this movie is so freakin' great for so many reasons. I promise you're going to love it just as much as your 10-year-old who's hopelessly in love with Harry Styles. (You'll probably be drooling over him and Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik too by the end of the flick. Just wait.)
My 7-year-old son and I had the opportunity to attend an advanced screening of the movie last Friday night. I honestly could not believe how much I not only enjoyed it -- but was also entertained, moved, and developed a new found love for the band I didn't know was possible for an old lady (36) like me. (And we also got to meet the band on Saturday -- more on that in a bit.)
First let's start with the burning question that's likely in the forefront of your mind -- and that's what kind of behavior your kids will be viewing considering the film is rated PG. Yes, there is some mild language -- but it's so mild that you might not even catch it if you aren't paying close attention to their every word. (Do NOT be afraid of the PG rating.)
None of the "bad" words that are used are majorly offensive ones (think "ass") -- and they are not used in a foul or raunchy way. I had no qualms about what my 7-year-old was hearing, and honestly, he probably missed a couple of the words entirely due to the boys' accents. (Which are super sexy, but that's beside the point. I'm not a cougar. Ok, maybe I am. Whatever.)
Other than the mild language, there was one reference made to farts. Other than that it was very tame, so you don't have to worry about your children hearing things about sex or drugs -- but yes, there is some rock and roll in there.
On to the entertainment factor. Your kids will go nuts for the concert footage that's featured -- especially if they've never attended a 1D show. Since the movie is in 3D, it's almost like you're right there hearing and seeing a live performance, which is pretty cool.
But the best part of the movie by far is the things you learn about the guys that go beyond the music, fame, and crowds of screaming girls all over the world. If you haven't followed them right from the beginning, you'll love hearing about how they got their start on The X Factor in the U.K., and seeing what humble backgrounds they all come from. And just wait until you hear from their moms -- all I can say is you might want to have a pack of tissues in your purse. You'll need them.
I really had a new sense of appreciation for how hard the band has worked to get to where they are now, but what really struck me throughout the movie is how normal they are. They're just regular people who happened to hit the big time -- and interestingly enough, they haven't let being the biggest band in the world go to their heads even the slightest bit. They appreciate everything they have, and they also have so much gratitude for their fans -- something which became even more evident when my son and I met them on Saturday.
We first got to chat with the director of One Direction: This Is Us, Morgan Spurlock.
And he really summed up the best aspect of the film in a few lines. "What I love about these guys is it is a great story that they have ... They were just these five ordinary guys who went to audition for a talent show three years ago and never came home ... and became one of the biggest bands in the world."
Yep. That's it. The film tells a story (and a very good one at that) instead of just being a compilation of clips from their tour. It draws you in and makes you totally understand what all the hype surrounding them is about if you weren't aware of it already.
And when the boys came in to talk to us after that? All I can say is it was an experience my son and I will never forget -- especially considering how kind and engaging they were with him and all of the other participants in the group.
They made us feel like we were their friends -- not a bunch of crazy mom bloggers and their kids who they had to put up with for the sake of promoting their film. OMG, you guys -- they were so awesome I can't even stand it. And I can't wait to watch their movie a second time now that I've actually spent some time chatting with them in person.
Ok, I'll quit rambling. Take your kids to see the movie this weekend -- I promise you'll be glad you did. And odds are good you'll wind up being just as happy as I am that your children have young men like this to look up to, admire, and remind them that no dream is too big as long as you put your heart and soul into it.
Will you take your kids to see this movie?
Images via Sony Pictures/Mary Fischer