October 30, 2014

Family Movies Is My Dirty Little Secret

That's right boys and girls, my dirty little secret is that I like certain kinds of family movies, mostly of the PG & PG-13 variety. As a rule, I really detest most Disney movies (the amount of Disney movies that I have seen you can count on one hand, and the last one I saw was when my daughter was in the single digit age range), which harkens back to watching the Wonderful World of Disney and the Saturday afternoon town movie matinee as a kid.

While I'm willing to watch almost anything, the ones that I do enjoy watching are the ones that are story driven. While a few of those are of the R rated variety (21 Grams for example featuring Sean Penn. Say what you want about his politics, but he is willing to stretch it as an actor), the remaining ones are PG & PG-13. While this short list is by no means definitive as it applies to me, the ones on that make this short list are those that really resonate with me as a movie-goer.

So without further ado and in no particular order of importance, here are some of my favorite family oriented films, along with the appropriate link and maybe a factoid or two.

1} Little Secrets: David Gallagher, who played Emily's suitor, was featured in the t.v. series "Seventh Heaven".

2} Secondhand Lions: the comic strip that you see at the very end, was drawn by Berkeley Breathed, he of Bloom County fame.

3} 2012: I thought this movie was better than Deep Impact, which dealt with roughly the same issues.

4} Facing The Giants: a Christian oriented family movie that comes off showing the faith without being preachy.

5} Tender Mercies: I believe in the movie, Robert Duvall sings and plays the guitar.

6} Bicentennial Man: Always loved Robin Williams as an actor.

7} Akelah & The Bee: A cool movie that isn't maudlin about a determined underdog.

8} Save The Last Dance: Julia Stiles was a featured player in season 5 of Dexter.

9} Places In The Heart: John Malkovich has a featured role in this (yet another fine example on how he has stretched out his acting chops).

10} Stepmom. I found this be a very good tearjerker of a movie. If you loved Michael Keaton's My Life, then you'll love this one.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. The only one of these I've seen is "Places in the Heart" but it was a fave of mine when it came out quite a few years ago now. I saw it a couple of times actually.

  2. You want politics? Watch Happy Feet. You want politics? Watch Surf's Up. Radical, man. Nice post. I'm with you, that's why I run a film club in my school. :-)

    Greetings from London.

  3. I still want to see Facing the Giants.
    I didn't realize Breathed had done the comic in that film.

  4. Debra: I've watched that film at least a half dozen times and every time I see it, it still gets me right there.

    ACiL: Thanks.

    That definitely sounds like a cool after school gig. :D

    Alex: I'm a huge fan of Bloom County, and because every cartoonist has their own distinctive drawing style, his was pretty easy for me pick out. Plus got confirmation watching the closing credits.

  5. PLACES IN THE HEART and SECOND HAND LIONS lead my list of all time favorite movies.

    I have seen most of your selected movies and enjoyed them so I shall put the ones that I missed on my future viewing choices.

    My childhood yielded this conversation with my dad. Me: "Can I go to the movies today?" Dad: "Only if it is a Disney movie."

  6. G.A.: I watched soooooooo many Disney movies as a kid (none of the cartoons, just the ones populated with people) that I forever cannot watch one longer than a couple of minutes.

  7. Robert Duvall really knocked it out of the park in TENDER MERCIES. Been awhile since I've seen it but remember it fondly.

  8. David: Robert Duvall has to be one the most versatile actors I know. He has really made some truly eclectic movies during his career and Tender Mercies, I believe, is one of the better ones.

  9. The only one of those movies that I've seen is Stepmom. I do believe that it managed to jerk a few tears out of me.

  10. I actually haven't seen any of those...but I went to see The Boxtrolls. And today we watched the Great Pumpkin, because, well, Halloween!

  11. S.R.: I actually caught that one about halfway through, so it me a while to find it again on cable. Fortunately, it was being overkilled on Showtime a few months ago, so I was able to watch it in its entirety. I thought Julia Roberts did a very good job in the movie.

    M: The Great Pumpkin!!!!

    I love the Great Pumpkin!!!

    I am soooooooooooooo jealous!!!!

  12. Oh dear I have to confess I haven't seen any of them, not sure why when I have 2 kids but they seemed to jump straight from Disney to Harry Potter over night. :D

  13. Joe: Mine sort of did the same thing, jumping from Disney to action/horror films.


These days, the written word is to die for, so please leave a comment that shows me and everyone else the real you. All kinds of verbiage will be cheerfully accepted in the spirit it was written.