I remember the day after Thanksgiving I planned to have a family movie night at home with my two boys.When they first saw my choice, they both gave me this weird scrunched up face and started whining "Mom what is this?, not this mom can we watch something else?" I mean I didn't blame them, Annie did look outdated, but I convinced them to give it a chance in hopes they'd love it the way me and my sissy did growing up. Needless to say they were instantly hooked! Seriously who could resist all those amazing songs and such a sweet story? After watching, my 9 year old CJ who loves singing and dancing looked at me and said "Mom, It's not fair! I'll never get to play a part in Annie because the orphans are all girls."
As soon as I spotted the invite from The Moms in my inbox to attend an early screening of Annie prior to it's release in theaters on Dec. 19th. I quickly rsvp'd (the hubby even put in a late slip for work) because we really wanted to see this latest interpretation of the film. The event which was hosted by Denise, Melissa and Norwegian Cruise Lines was held at the Sony screening room and was filled with all my favorite mom/parent bloggers, vloggers and their kiddies who were all excited to see the film and rocked Annie tees and red dresses. .
Like Annie who showed grit while making it in NYC, many of us know sometimes it can be "A hard knock life." It was great to hear from The Moms and their kids about how much fun they had escaping city life for some family fun while cruising like a Norwegian. One great feature they raved about was Freestyle cruising which enables guests the opportunity to create their own unforgettable memories by allowing flexibility in creating their dining, fun and activities.
At the end of the screening we were all treated to a special sit down with the young girls who played the "Foster Kids" in the film and enjoyed listening to how much fun they had on set with Jamie Foxx (Will Stacks) and Cameron Diaz (Miss Hannigan), their reaction when they found out they had gotten the part, and how the opportunity to act changed their lives. Watch the video, aren't they adorbs?
Here's 4 Reasons why you shouldn't miss an opportunity to see the film:
An updated Modern twist: The movie stayed pretty true to the original story line: Annie is the bubbly, witty, and beyond wise-for-her-age little girl who remains optimistic through it all as she hopes to be reunited with her parents. After spending time with a wealthy, unattached mogul who saves her from her foster mom, he is swept off his feet by the young girl who teaches him how to love and to loosen up enough to be loved in return. But clearly the biggest difference was that the movie featured cellphones and mentioned tweeting, facebook and George Clooney which got a few laughs out of us. As pointed out in their interview "it's really relate-able to this generation of kids."
A Talented cast: Nobody in our house loves Quvenzhane Wallis more than my 4 year old Tristan who was mesmerized while watching her rambunctious character Hush Puppy in the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild (although the context was totally over his head he could totally relate to her wild spirit) and you couldn't help but fall in love with her as she sang her heart out and put so much emotion into playing Annie. You could also see the seemingly natural, heart-tugging dramatic & comedic connection she had with Jamie Fox on set which definitely made their relationship play out beautifully.
I think the first time my son CJ had ever seen Jamie Foxx in a film was earlier this year in his role as Electro in The Amazing Spiderman 2, so after this film when he turned to me and said "Mom I didn't Know Jamie Foxx could sing" I understood why, but let it be known that it was nice to hear his smooth voice again (says the woman who belted out his hit songs back in her high school days).
Miss Hannigan was actually one of my favorite characters in the original film, you couldn't help but love to hate her and I think she was just desperate for attention and misunderstood. I've gotta say Cameron Diaz was awesome, playing the uncaring foster mom who was a tad bit overbearing, extra flirty & unexpectedly really funny.
Catchy pop music and lyrics with Meaning: Have you heard the soundtrack yet? Without a doubt you may find yourself tapping your feet to the beat just a bit because these well known songs seemed to have gotten a bit of a pop remix that was integrated with the sounds of NYC streets & it really works. There are just so many positive, teachable moments within the lyrics of songs like "Tomorrow" and "You're never fully dressed without a smile", that provide lessons on staying optimistic and dreaming big.
Opportunities seemed to be a reoccurring theme in the film: Mr. Stacks had the opportunity to become mayor or to change the life of a NYC child and make a difference. Miss Hannigan was bitter about missed opportunities of stardom as a singer years ago and the jerky villain of the film Guy (Bobby Carnavale) didn't want to lose out on the opportunity of a big pay out, regardless off the consequences.
The newest song "Opportunity" which is sung by Quvenzhane and Sia on the soundtrack was so heartfelt and inspiring, especially for my family as our 9 year old CJ was just selected to attend a prestigious public school for ballet in the city after randomly auditioning (and training one day a week for 3 months) . He's since heard the song a few times and can totally relate, realizing it's such great moment and he decided to transfer schools after the New Year. I'm hoping he'll one day hit the stage to perform to it. I tear up every time I hear it.
"Oh, now look at me, And this opportunity