We had been avoiding going to the movies in France for a very, very long time. Although I was interested in taking the kids, I was getting a lot of feedback from them about it because, well, we have a bit of a language barrier. You see, despite the fact that many movies shown in France are created and distributed by American companies, they are usually dubbed into French before they hit the theaters here.
I used to be very disturbed by watching dubbed movies, since there is something slightly disconcerting about watching someone’s mouth move in a different way than you would imagine when you hear the sounds. However, my view on this has changed, since as a non-Francophone, I often feel like my own mouth is moving in a different way than the sound coming out of it. See how being a stranger in a strange land can really change your attitude toward many random things? Now I can watch any version of CSI dubbed in French and not be even slightly disturbed. That fact, in itself, is slightly disturbing.
I knew it would take an epic film to change my kids’ view on going to the movies. Despite the reality that their French is now outstanding, they had little confidence in their ability to understand a full length movie. And guess what just recently landed in the movie theaters in France? Star Wars: The Phantom Menace in 3D!
I’m sure this was probably out in the theaters months ago in the US, but it seemed like news to me that it was even being made in 3D. I am not even a Star Wars fanatic, but something about this series makes me very nostalgically happy. You see, my first memory of seeing the original Star Wars was in the theater in my hometown, with my father as he smuggled a whole load of popcorn into the theater in his jacket. He believed that the popcorn he made at home (since he was a Nebraska native), was better than what we could buy at the theater. That, and he was a bit of a cheap skate. I’m pretty sure he had a couple of can of Schlitz in his pockets too, but luckily we were more focused on seeing the movie than the fact that my Dad looked pregnant with the mass of popcorn. After all, it was the 1970s and we were still on the rebound from the Age of Aquarius.
Since that day, I’ve had a deep love of the Star Wars movies and now, like many others in the youngest generation, so do my kids. So when we heard that Star Wars was coming to the local theater, the kids suddenly changed their tune about movies in French. Their reasoning, which follows logic, is that they’d seen the movie so many times in English that it wouldn’t matter if it were in French. It didn’t dawn on them that they might actually UNDERSTAND the words in French.
I didn’t try to smuggle in any popcorn to recreate the good old days, but we did get some really sweet French 3D glasses. Even the 3D glasses have some style here:
Once we settled in to see Yoda on the big screen, all was right with the world. There were only two things that would have made it even better:
1) a cold can of Schlitz
2) my Dad sitting next to me.
My kids, by the way, understood nearly every word.