“We have a few special years with our children, when they’re the ones that want us around. After that you’re going to be running after them for a bit of attention. It’s so fast.” This quote is precisely the motivation for my creation of the Family Movie Review.
I have observed in my own life how easy it is to allow things of less import and less significance to distract us from what is, in my opinion, the most important part of our lives – our families and loved ones. Family movie night was an occurrence that I treasured growing up, and is a practice that my in-laws continue to carry out each week. Taking a page from their book, family movie night holds a special spot in my home each Friday evening. It has become one of the parts of my week I look forward to most.
One of my favorite retellings of a fairy tale classic to ever be made, Steven Spielberg’s Hook, is a film that I have no hesitation rewatching on a yearly basis. It is a compelling admonition that no matter how pressing matters may seem in our professional lives, our families should take center stage. It is also a fantastic reminder that no matter how old we get, growing up and leaving behind the joy, wonder, and excitement of childhood is a choice, not a requirement.
Hook follows Peter Banning, a middle-aged man who is so focused on his work as an attorney that he doesn’t even realize the strain he is putting on his relationships with his wife, Moira, and his children, Jack and Maggie. Peter and his family travel to London, England to visit Wendy Darling – Moira’s grandmother and the woman who coordinated an orphaned Peter’s adoption as a child. Upon returning from a charity function in Wendy’s honor, Peter, Moira, and Wendy find that while they were gone the children were kidnapped. A ransom note, left by none other than Captain James Hook, calls upon Peter to come and try to save the children. Peter is told by Wendy that the stories of Peter Pan are true, and that he is the real Peter Pan. From that point forward, Peter has to come to terms with his negligence of his family and to determine if he can retake the role of Peter Pan in order to confront Captain Hook and save his children.
Hook features a star-studded cast who masterfully bring the story to life. The late Robin Williams (Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, Aladdin, Dead Poets Society) incredibly portrays a believable Peter Banning as he transforms back into Peter Pan. Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate, Rain Man, Tootsie) and Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Balto) hold viewers’ attention as they capture the dynamic friendship between Captain Hook and his first mate, Smee. Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman, Wonder, My Best Friend’s Wedding), brings life to Tinkerbell, really helping to flesh out the character and give her relatable motivations. The cast worked together marvelously, and made it easy to lose yourself in the magic of Neverland.
If you find yourself feeling nostalgic for the early 1990’s and want to share a nearly 30 year old film that stands the test of time with your loved ones, look no farther than Hook.
It will serve as a reminder that family is supreme, and that you’re never too old to have fun and to believe in magic. (Wood is a Serve Daily contributor.)