07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

All I Really Need To Know...

Hi everyone!
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.

Can you tell that I enjoyed myself?

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.


Paty Jager said...

I loved The Heat when I saw it and want to get it on DVD. The budding enemies to friends was well done. The funny things were sometimes emotionally painful. It was a good movie.

Fun post!

Sarah Raplee said...

My husband and I want to see The Heat. After reading this, I want to see it even more!

I love the lessons! Hope I can incorporate similar messages in my writing without being preachy.

I read SICK PUPPY by Carl Hiasson while on vacation. Hilarious! Some of the lessons were that Mother Nature will win in the end, we're all responsible for preserving the planet, even an old, geriatric rhino is a dangerous rhino, and Karma is real.

Shannon said...

LOVE IT! Thanks for posting this. You've insired me to go watch the film.

Judith Ashley said...

I don't go to movies - well, seldom (every 4 or 5 years maybe) nor do I rent movies or really watch them on t.v.

I'm paraphrasing the lessons you mentioned that resonate with me.
1. Outside/first appearances/impressions are often wrong.
2. Be open to good things happening in your life.
3. Caring or loving relationships with family and friends makes for a successful life.
4. If you have someone in your life you love and that someone loves you - you are successful.

Thanks for a thoughtful post, B.A.

Diana Mcc. said...

Great post! I've been wanting to see the Heat too.