The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Annapolis (2006)

The best review of this movie I've seen so far read something like: "a perfect movie for people who've never seen a movie before."  If there was a cliche' unturned in this tale of a welder (James Franco) who claws his way into the naval academy to be tormented by a strict officer (Tyrese Gibson) and aided by an inspiring female (Jordana Brewster) I couldn't find it.  Boxing movies, military training movies, love movies, lower-class aspiration's all here, and been done better elsewhere. 
On the other hand, I kind of liked it.  I admit to being fascinated by the rites of passage, perhaps because we have so few of them in our culture, or perhaps just because I longed for them so deeply as a boy.  we long for love, for belonging, for that illusive line which, once crossed, means that we are finally adult.  I watch my son developing, and he wants so much to be a "big boy."  He'll want that his whole life, and look for signs that he's reached it.  When he's old and gray, he'll wonder how he missed the moment at which it happened...if it ever did.  Strange, and powerful, this thing called adulthood.
For me, I think the moment of adulthood is the moment at which we stop blaming others for our lives.  We take responsiblity, with all of its warts and wonder, for what we have made of ourselves. This is so incredibly hard.  Women, throughout time, have often considered this to be motherhood.  Men have often considered this full employment---or in other times, going to war.
I don't really know what it is.  I know that somewhere along the way I seem to have crossed that line.  I'd be interested in hearing what some of you think that line is, though.   When do we become adults?

And by the way..."Annapolis" only gets a C+.  Still liked it, though.

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