Day 4, and Inside Out

Technically, today should be Book Club Thursday, but we’re bucking all the rules this week.  Join me in the world of chaos…

I finally saw Inside Out today.  My mom and sister went without me the other week, so my best friend and I went today.  It was kinda nice since she’s about to go the beach for a week and we won’t get our usual weekly hang time.  But the movie…there are major spoilers to follow.

First things first: I didn’t really like the short “Lava.”  Honestly, it was kind of weird.  And I couldn’t get over how much it bothered me that the female volcano was still styled after conventional standards of feminine beauty.

But then the movie started.  I love Amy Poehler (did you see when I read her memoir?) and her voice was perfect for Joy for the same reason she was so great as Leslie Knope.  It’s basically sunshine in a bottle.  And yet, from the very beginning, you could tell she wasn’t perfect.  That she was willing to push aside everything else in the single-minded pursuit of happiness.

I’m actually having a very difficult time putting my emotions about this movie into actual words and paragraphs, so I’m going to switch to bullet points.

  • Riley’s depression didn’t come from the move, but from her trying to deny her own sadness about the move.
  • Riley’s parents weren’t perfect (her dad putting the foot down, her mom asking her to keep smiling) but they genuinely loved and cared for her.  They were trying their best.  And when they realize they may have approached something the wrong way, they go back and try to do it better.
  • Riley loves hockey.  And at the end, Disgust says there’s a fashion island, not to mention all the unicorns and rainbows and sparkles.  She has her girly traits, but she’s not by definition a “girly girl.”  Because, get this, what people like doesn’t necessarily define them.  (Also, I have a theory about her being gender-fluid, but idk enough about that to put together a thesis.)
  • I was a crying mess during the scene with Bing Bong and Joy trying to get out of the chasm.  When Bing Bong smiles and says “One more try,” and you just know that something is off, but can’t say what, and then he sacrifices himself to save Riley’s chance at happiness…that is a true friend, even if he is imaginary.  And the whole “Take her to the moon” thing…If the whole movie is a symbol of her growing up, that’s the thing that kids turning into adults fear most.  They fear losing all the unrealistic dreams they had as a kid.  And Bing Bong’s death may represent losing that in the “literal” sense, but Joy’s commitment to try shows the stage where young adults decide to pursue slightly more realistic dreams in search of that same feeling of fulfillment.
  • This movie is going to become very important to little kids learning how to understand and process their emotions.  It reminds me of a Maureen Johnson post about her anxiety, where she talks about thinking of anxiety like a little…well, she didn’t say person, she said creature or something, but thinking of these things as little “people” can be helpful for accepting your own feelings, while not letting them overwhelm you.
  • Some of your happiest moments only come because you let sadness in and out first.  Emotions are complicated.  Memories are complicated.  As we saw with the memories that were multiple colors, it’s okay to feel several different ways about a single thing or event.
  • However, it is not okay to put broccoli on pizza.

So yes, I loved it.  Will be watching it again.  Will make my kids watch it when they come.  Am considering getting plushie ones to help work through my own emotions.  It’s important people.

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