6/3/10

RVOD113 Family Teamwork

(1970s-ish, Educational/Short/Children, color)

Riffers:

Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett

Families aren’t so much about teamwork as they are about shutting up.

Rating: ***

In a Nutshell:


A guilt trip royale with cheese.

Summary:

This car pays for that skateboard, little missy!Gratuitously shirtless basketball gives way to a string of eight-to-ten-year-old children who engage in petty, passive-aggressive acts of defiance. These include: the kid who throws a tantrum when his family can’t afford a trailer-tent, the kid who turns up the TV when his dad won’t play glider with him as scheduled, the girls who’d rather skateboard than do the dishes/wash the car, and the boy who pouts rather than help his mother carry groceries up the stairs. Each reflects in turn upon his/her selfish, dependant existence. Then they repent of their little rebellions one at a time.

Thoughts:

Guilt is the name of the game here. In a nutshell: if you don’t help your parents, you’re a bad person. Has this ever worked? My kids are pretty much shameless. Most of the others I’ve met are too. The few times I’ve tried this, my kids ended up feeling worthless and still refused to help, basically turning it into a lose-lose scenario.

How about encouragement? A child who thinks he’s really helping (and doesn’t know I’m letting him hinder me for the sake of his maturation) is more likely to help in the future. Naked, bald-faced bribery works pretty good. So does taking toys as hostages. Er, not that I’ve ever tried that last one...

A few favorite comments: Upon reaching an epiphany of his guilt, a child rushes off while Mike says, “Gotta go pretend to help!” As another child careens from pout to smiles over the course of a few seconds, Bill says, “Son, you’re creeping me out. Could you go outside and play?” As the narrator goes over all the important things we’ve learned about being a team, Kevin adds, “Team spelled backwards is almost meat.” It’s a simple, repetitive little film, spiced up with decent commentary and several off-the-wall jokes that made me smile.