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This past weekend, the boys stumbled across a movie we hadn’t seen in quite a while. They all love certain aspects about it. I’m sure that the adult lead characters toting guns while sitting on the porch of their Texas home helped to garner their interest. However, there is far more to the story than watching a few old men love their guns and shoot at skeet targets.
Set in 1960’s Texas, this movie is a coming of age story about a teenaged boy left with his bachelor great-uncles for the summer as his (irresponsible) mother takes off to explore her own interests. The boys is shy and not at all thrilled at being dumped with the rather eccentric family members. But, he grows to love them both as time passes.
The film is full of funny moments. When we originally watched this year ago, I remember Mr. O chuckling about how the uncles would great unexpected visitors with a prime of the shot guns. While they didn’t like solicitors, they did end up buying a new gun from one visitor. I’m not sure what it is with my boys and guns, but I suspect the love has been passed down from their father. The same goes for wanting to have plenty of personal space just as the great-uncles like being apart from the world most of the time.
One thing that struck me as I was observing the middle boys watching is that beyond the coming of age theme, there is also an underlying thread of the importance of family. Walter’s one great-uncle, Hub, is only back in Texas as he tired of fighting wars and had no other home. Hub seems to be seeking a way out of his lonely life, yet Walter is able to show that he is still needed.
The acting by Michael Caine and Robert Duvall is excellent and Kyra Sedwick played a great ‘flighty’ mother. The mystery of where the uncles got their wealth was a fun addition to the story as was the inclusion of Jasmine, the lioness.
The Christian viewer will find some situational violence (mostly during the retelling of Hub’s adventures in the Foreign Legion), use of alcohol and language. The movie is rated PG and I felt comfortable with my boys watching the film (Common Sense media recommends ages 10 and up.) For the homeschooler wanting to incorporate this into their school day, you can find a complete teacher’s and activity guide are available at the Secondhand Lions website.
As the featured columnist for the Movies and Music category, you can be looking forward to weekly posts on what we are watching or music we’ve enjoyed.
Feel free to leave suggestions for me as well that are family friendly or uplifting for adults. While I have movies and some music selections in mind, I’m always on the lookout for other great choices.