Sunday, January 27, 2008

Spellebound by, well, spelling?

After seeing the buzz and conversation generated by students at the school spelling bee a few weeks ago, and having a co-worker recommend this movie to me, I'm curious. Why is spelling so exciting? Is it more of the competition element than the actual spelling? I enjoyed the diverse backgrounds that each of the contestants they chose to highlight came from. I found myself rooting for each of them, if not some a little more than others. I think April was my favorite because she reminds me a little of myself and a little of my 9th grade best friends. Finally, someone that admits to her pessimism at a young age has a head full of realistic expectations on her shoulders. Above all, I believe that this film put a really good spin on the National Spelling Bee and humanity in general. Competitions like this one always get a bad rap for pushing children past their limit, but these children chose to be here and went along with the processes. The parents seemed level-headed, and wanted nothing but the best for their children. When each was eliminated from the competition, no one parent was overly irrational. Disappointed maybe, but always supportive. Life is about learning lessons of hard work, and each of these kids worked extra hard to get where they are today. Life is also about learning that there can only be one winner. If you have to loose to show that, you have to be willing to admit defeat. I think I enjoyed this film because I laughed, cried, and empathized with the characters a little too much. And yes, you need to Netflix this film now.
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