I am YA author B. A. Binns. Can you believe it's July already? I'm back again to discuss lessons I learned from my fourth of July trip to the movies. I hope you will join the discussion.
I have long loved the book, All I really need to know to know I learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. It was nice to know I pretty much new everything really necessary to get along in the world. Then I saw The Heat over the fourth of July, and got an adult-based refresher course.
The Heat was so much more fun than Thelma and Louise, the movie I had thought of as the ultimate female buddy story, until now. This was funny and thoughtful, all about bonding and sisterhood, proving that X-chromosomes can be lethal cop and hysterically funny. The movie showed me tons about human nature, girl-power, and the way people hide their inner pains.
In many ways the story was predictable, but it was still surprising, satisfying, and left me with the hint of a future inter-racial romance for one of the women. The Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy are superb together. I felt the chemistry, both in their initial hostility and in their growing friendship. The writing helped, the screenwriters (Lee Eisenberg and Katie Dippold) let us get to know them as two misunderstood women who are dedicated to their job, both wanting to improve the world, and both hiding inner pain from that world.
The backstory comes out slowly, waiting until the audience wants to know what made these two women the way they are. So we root for the woman whose mother throws insults at her because she arrested her own brother. And we care about the outwardly competent orphan with no family to care about her accomplishments. Then we watch them both change and grow, and make foolish mistakes. Like an episode of Wife Swap, the two walk into their relationship thumbing their noses at each other’s lifestyles and choices, and walk out recognizing the value of change and compromise.
The Heat gave me a refresher course in those early values, and handed me few new ones:
- No matter how much pain you are in, it can always get worse.
- Do not dangle people in midair. Especially not drug dealers too stupid to answer your questions before your strength runs out
- Never look down on a woman who maintains an arsenal (including a rocket launcher) in her refrigerator.
- Everyone looks good in a uniform.
- Never let anyone cut off your pants when you are wearing Spanks.
- Drinking really can cause you to wake up next to an absolute, total stranger.
- Be careful about jumping to conclusions and looking only at the obvious suspect.
- Being supremely competent at your job is not always enough, not even when you terrorize your boss.
- In the end, family, friendship and love trump career.
- No matter how much pain you are in, always be ready for the possibility of something better.
I write young adult (YA). I hope I am a good enough author to give lessons like these to my readers in the middle of the action, adventure, and romance.
Have you read any good books or seen any good movies lately? Learned any good lessons? Please comment and share.