The War With Grandpa is multigenerational family fun!
The War With Grandpa is the fun family movie we all need right now. It is light and full of sight gags that are bound to get a giggle out of even the most stressed out families. It features ordinary everyday people in extraordinary situations that are relatable despite the extremity of several moments. We can all relate to the feeling of our independence being limited at this point, so in many ways this is the sort of break we all need to laugh a little at the idea of fighting back against inevitable limitations in the world.
Multigenerational family clashes
My household is multigenerational. My father lives with us, and it is the best thing that has ever happened to us. This may not be the case for most people, and my dad and I have a history of being “roommates”, so in many ways the transition was easier for us than most. The big difference now is that I am not a young adult anymore, not alone as a roommate, and my position in the house is not one of being his daughter, but is “mom” and “wife”. Likewise his role has shifted and my father is no longer “dad“ and the head of the household. The dynamic is very different looking now and then it has been in our past. Now he is Grandpa. He is the very definition of “Family Fun” to my kids. Though the change has not been easy and without road bumps, what a gift it is been to all of us to have found a way to make the shape of our family the new normal!
What is the movie about?
The plot is fairly straightforward and can easily summarized by saying that it is a power struggle right out of the gate when a mom has her father move in with her husband and three kids after his wife passes away. She assumes the role of his caretaker (much to his chagrin) and her family is forced to accommodate Grandpa with a little too tight of a fit. This leads to the war, as it were. The battle over the usurped bedroom is the basis for a conflict that is much deeper than where either grandpa or grandson lays their head every night.
Does it pass Media Bias tests? Is it inclusive? Is “Family Fun” enough?
As media bias is an important issue in my life in the media that I consume and promote, this movie’s feeling of relativity was just that: relative. It wasn’t difficult when watching the movie to see which tests the movie passed and failed in terms of diversity and inclusion, but that being said I learned a big lesson with this film. While watching it I couldn’t get over that they had attracted such a star-studded cast to this project. Later in an interview with the producers of the film (an acutely aware and impressive 15 year old executive producer Tre Peart and his parents Marvin & Rosa Peart) while they were speaking about Robert DeNiro’s involvement in the project and willingness to be involved with future projects I started to remember a tweet that caught my eye last year from Ava DuVernay.
Executive Producer of SELMA on the left.
Executive Producer of WHEN THEY SEE US on the right.
Both used their muscle to help me get those stories told.
A good thing. pic.twitter.com/fbwS3HMcqc
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) January 6, 2020
During our Zoom interview the Peart Family, who produced this film, Mr. Peart addressed that they are black and people that look like them generally don’t make movies like this and that it is a source pride that the film turned out the way it did. This comment sparked for me a memory of the an exchange in the comments of the below tweet.
I would like to think Mr. DeNiro saw something to be encouraged in Tre and the Peart Family and sent the elevator back down to lend his name to a worthy project and give a bigger shot to a young producer like Tre. I want to believe in that inclusion as well. Open the door if you can. Make space in the room for new voices and new ideas. This young man spotted a story worth telling to a larger audience and worked to make it a reality. His parents supported his audacious aspirations and didn’t limit him and it is inspiring. While the movie still lacked representation in a variety of areas in front of the camera, I am happy to see the story being told had perspectives that were not all the same contributing behind the lens.
Is this movie worth risking a return to the theaters to see?
That question is so layered and difficult, and of course it is up to your individual family to decide if a trip to your local movie theater at this point during the pandemic is a healthy option. I do believe the moment this movie comes out in video on demand it is definitely a must see for entire family. When family fun is at a premium, the laughter alone is very welcome distraction and though everyone may not be in this exact situation, the limitation of someone’s world outside of their control it feels incredibly relatable right now.