Thankfully, given that Hoot’s plot, pacing, and acting are so sub-par that even a made-for-Nickelodeon movie would be ashamed of it, it’s not likely to make much of an impact at the box office. And after attending the junket for the film in Fort Lauderdale, I found other reasons to feel reassured that this film’s message won’t take much hold in the hearts of adolescents, since it doesn’t appear that it was even able to fully persuade its own young cast.
Questioned whether she feels as compelled as her character to take a stand for undeveloped land, 16-year-old Brie Larson (Beatrice) reveals a level of sense many adults in her industry lack: “Depends on the area—on whether its just a flat piece of earth or if its something that really seems important to society…I mean, I wouldn’t go somewhere and go, ‘yeah, take a stand’ if I didn’t know anything about it.”
And while 16-year-old Cody Lindley describes his character, Mullet Fingers, as an outlaw willing to overlook the rules for a greater good, when asked what might motivate him to such activist lawbreaking, Lindley replies, “Well, I wouldn’t feel that way for owls, but if someone were trying to hurt my family, I don’t think I would follow all the laws.”
Lindley expresses similarly down-to-earth feelings about his native country: “I know everyone talks about how bad it is here, but overall, I’m kind of optimistic. I’m so glad to live here [in America] because compared to the rest of the word it’s really great, and I don’t think there’s a lot that’s immoral and bad about America compared to the rest of the world.”
Despite Hollywood’s best liberal programming efforts, it appears that the kids, at least these kids, really are alright.
Megan Basham is the author of Beside Every Successful Man: A Woman's Guide To Having It All
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