If you're looking for a movie that the family might enjoy over the (American) Thanksgiving holiday, you would do well to avoid this week's box office champ. Instead, consider Pieces of April. Peter Hedges' short and bittersweet comedy about a family's efforts to get together and get along at a table of traditional turkey and cranberry sauce may have a few elements that are inappropriate for younger children, but for discerning adults, it's a moving and marvelous film. Here's my review.

They do not like it … not one bit!

Oops, they've done it again. Moviemakers have taken another beloved Dr. Seuss children's book and turned it into a "cat-astrophe." Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat, as directed by first-timer Bo Welch, is littered with lowbrow humor and things that are not appropriate for younger viewers … or for discerning adults, for that matter.

Nevertheless, families hurried happily to this big screen hairball, demonstrating disinterest in critical thinking about the film, and rewarding the film studio with an estimated $40.1 million, almost guaranteeing that more misguided Seuss adaptations will be made.

When Jim Carrey played the Grinch in director Ron Howard's Dr. Seuss movie, film critics were stunned to see the simple redemption story peppered with sexual references and behavior that was hardly admirable. There's nothing necessarily wrong with misbehavior in a movie, so long as it is portrayed as misbehavior in the context of meaningful storytelling. What troubled critics about Grinch was that Whoville, supposedly an innocent family-oriented town, was "updated" and turned into a place where parents went to "key parties" and where a post-redemption Grinch still went out of his way to belittle and mock his nemesis. It is ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.